17 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 – week #16)

Startup news and deals

🇮🇪 💰Strong Roots, an Irish plant-based frozen food startup, is being acquired by McCain. This follows a $55M investment in 2021.

🇫🇷 📦 Pyxo, a French startup specialising in reusable packaging for the food service industry, will be acquired by UBI Solutions. This follows Pyxo’s entry into receivership earlier this year due to a high amount of debt. After a couple of years of hype around reusable packaging in Europe, notably pushed by regulation banishing single-use plastics in France, many startups are facing difficulties in a category that still requires consolidation.

🇫🇷💧 Weenat, a French startup, raised €8.5M for its sensors and weather stations that help farmers better manage their water usage.

🇩🇪 🍽️ Torg, a German startup, raised €2.7M for its AI-powered platform, which helps foodservice buyers to identify suppliers. It notably aims to replace the inefficiency of the discovery process (which still relies a lot on trade fairs).

🇧🇪 👁️ Robovision, a Belgian startup, raised $42M for its no-code AI platform that simplifies the implementation of computer vision in various industries, notably in agriculture robotics.

🇬🇧🐶 Marleybones, a British startup, raised €1.05M for its shelf-stable dog food meals.

🇺🇸 🌱 Windfall Bio, an American startup, raised $28M for its technology that captures and transforms methane into fertilizer.

🇳🇴 🍖 Völur, a Norwegian startup, raised $2.8M for its AI technology to optimize and make the meat industry more sustainable.

🇸🇪🥤 Gaia Biomaterials, a Swedish startup, raised $5M for its sustainable and compostable plastic alternatives made from limestone.

🇸🇬 🐟 Peptobiotics, a Singapore-based startup raised $6.2M to the use of antibiotics in aquaculture with its antimicrobial peptide technology.

🇺🇸 🌱 Ammobia, a U.S. startup, raised $4.2M for its green ammonia production technology.

🇳🇿 💥 Sunfed Meats, a New Zealand-based plant-based meat company, is shutting down due to financial difficulties and an inability to raise additional funding.

Regulation & public support

🇫🇷 ⚖️ France’s top administrative court suspended a decree banning plant-based products from being labeled with meat-related terms. This is the second time the French government attempts to limit the use of words such as steak to meat. As for the previous decree, it will be for the EU court of justice to evaluate its legality.

Industry news & trends

🌍 💰 Ahold Delhaize, alongside Tesco, Woolworths, and 2 other retailers, creates a VC fund to invest in startups that improve consumer experience and tackle sustainability challenges in the grocery value chain.

🇺🇸 🖥️ An interesting US-focused analysis on the “complicated” (i.e. unexistent) path-to-exit for many RetailTech startups. That’s often a question I ask founders (and investors): “What is the exit scenario?” notably in situations where the number of potential buyers is limited… and I’m mostly answered with things like “We’ll see later”. That’s well and good, but there are indeed industries where you either become very big ($100M+ in revenue or you fail).

🇺🇸 💸 Nestlé generated $200M of additional revenue in the US through ideas sourced from its employees. Since 2019, they submitted thousands of ideas, which were turned into 46 initiatives, notably product launches. By tapping into the daily life experiences and needs of its employees, Nestlé, can then leverage trends.

🇺🇸 🧑‍🍳 Google Launched “Food Mood”, an impressive AI which creates recipes fro you (including the picture) by mixing two food cultures. I have to try this French x Japanese dessert, looks incredible.

📺 Webinar - Future of FoodTech in Europe
☁️ 🌍 🥗 Food+Climate Tech

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