7 notable deals and things to know this week (2023 – week #10)

πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅Β πŸ…Β  Japanese researchers have successfully genetically engineered tomatoes to add anti-inflammatory pigments (those present in beetroots). While this topic of enhanced products is quite controversial, notably in Europe, the research is getting stronger. It is interesting to see that it goes beyond production capabilities (to be more resistant or have increased yields) but could also lead to consumer benefits.

πŸ‡³πŸ‡±Β  πŸ₯¬Β Source.ag, a Dutch startup, raised $23M for its artificial intelligence solution for greenhouses. It helps growers to optimize all the variables inside their greenhouses.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§Β  🍫 WNWN, a British startup, raised $5.6M for its cocoa-free chocolate made through traditional fermentation. It says its product tastes and smells like β€œreal” chocolate. It is interesting to see that even in chocolate (which, in fact, is a huge market), we have startups betting on plant-based / fermentation while others are using precision fermentation and other synthetic biology technology to replicate the taste that we all love.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈΒ πŸ§‘β€πŸ³Β Shef, a homemade meals platform, raised $73.5M. It benefits from new laws that enable the sale of homecooked meals across the United States. We are still sceptical about the unit economics of such a business model relying on independent chefs. But, with this level of funding, chefs can gain access to large pools of consumers and then dedicate themselves fully to the platform, hence avoiding the cost of renting a kitchen. But, at the end of the day, does this create a desirable model?

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§Β πŸšœΒ Hectare, a British startup, raised $20M for its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for farmers. It provides them insights into their inventory, trading and logistics.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈΒ  πŸͺ BelliWelli, a US-based food brand startup, raised $15.4M for its products directed to consumers with gut issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Seeing the growing interest and the number of new brands addressing digestive disorders is interesting.

πŸ‡«πŸ‡·Β  🌽  Inarix, a French startup, raised €3.1M for its solution that can predict the quality of crops from a picture.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸŒΎ What's next for agriculture?
πŸ’Έ How to finance startups beyond fundraising?

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