8 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 – week #8)

🇧🇷 🐖 Cellva Ingredients, a Brazilian startup, raised $1.3M to develop its pork fat alternative made through cellular agriculture. It says that its fat can be customised to be healthier than the “real thing”. While it may seem strange to put that much effort into replicating animal fat and then modifying it, it makes a lot of sense: vegetable oils create taste and texture problems in plant-based alternatives, but animal fats are considered unhealthy. Hence, healthy animal fat would be the holy grail for the plant-based meat industry.

🇮🇱 🐜 FreezeM, an Israeli startup, raised $14.2M for what it calls insect “breeding as a service”. It wants to replicate for insects what the normal state of mature animal industries is, where there are breeding specialists (what the startup wants to do), industrial-scale farmers, and processors.

🇺🇸 🌾 Hippo Harvest, a US-based startup, raised $21M for its vertical farming technology.

🇺🇸 🍫 California Cultured, a US-based startup using cellular agriculture to create a coca alternative, is partnering with Meiji, Japan’s largest confectionery company. Together, they will develop a product that could be launched in Japan as soon as this year. The use of cellular agriculture on plants such as cocoa and coffee is one of the hottest FoodTech topics right now: you should have a look at our recent insight note on this.

🇺🇸 📦 Misfits Market, a US-based online grocer startup selling imperfect goods (primarily produce but also dry food items), is launching a B2B service “fulfilled by Misfits”. Sellers of perishable goods will be able to use Misfits’ logistics. This is an interesting move: is B2B the way for online grocers to leverage their costly logistics? Time will tell, but for now, it shows that the growth this startup contemplated when developing its logistics has not been achieved and that now it sits on an oversized capability.

🇬🇧 🍄 Spacegoods, a British startup, raised £2.5M for its mushroom and nootropic-focused wellness products. Nootropics are mushroom-infused products that improve your focus and energy levels.

🇬🇧 🍄 Enough, a UK-based mycoprotein producer received undisclosed funding from Cargill. They will expand their existing partnership to develop meat and dairy alternatives.

🇺🇸 🧀 New Culture, a US-based precision fermentation startup (using genetically modified microorganisms to produce dairy proteins), has become the world’s first to receive regulatory approval for its casein. Others had already received approval for whey (another dairy protein), but casein is the “holy grail” for creating cheese alternatives.

📊 FoodTech in graphs
☕️🧪 Plant cell culture: the future of coffee and chocolate

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