? Wild Microbes CEO: ‘Today the bioeconomy runs on a handful of microorganisms; in future it will run on hundreds’
AgFunder
by Elaine Watson
2d ago
Right now, a handful of microbial workhorses do the bulk of the work in biomanufacturing, which is billed as a more sustainable means of producing products currently derived from petrochemicals and industrialized animal agriculture. But do we need to domesticate a new generation of hosts to make the unit economics of precision fermentation stack up? AgFunderNews caught up with Dr. Tim Wannier, cofounder and CEO at Cambridge, Mass-based startup Wild Microbes at the SynBioBeta conference in San Jose to find out how novel microbial hosts could unlock the potential of the bioeconomy. In our conv ..read more
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The Week in AgriFoodTech: Hysata snags $111m for green hydrogen, Ocean 14 launches $200m+ fund
AgFunder
by Jennifer Marston
3d ago
This week, green hydrogen startup Hysata raised a whopping $111 million and Rize bagged funds to decarbonize rice production. Elsewhere, the Ocean 14 Capital Fund announced more than $200 million in ocean health investment, and Uber scooped up Delivery Hero’s Taiwan business for nearly $1 billion. Mimic’s robot. Image credit: MimicFoodtech funding ByHeart raises $95m to support commercial launch in the US FoodBev Media Pepper secures $30 million in Series B funding to empower independent foodservice distributors Business Wire Temasek-backed Allozymes secures $15m for European expansion Tech i ..read more
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With a fresh $13m, Niqo Robotics aims to help smallholders ‘lead the innovation curve’ in AI farming
AgFunder
by Jennifer Marston
3d ago
Bangalore, India-based Niqo Robotics has closed a $13 million (Rs 109 crore) Series B for its AI-powered spot-spraying technology that integrates with existing agricultural equipment. Bidra Innovation Ventures led the round, which brings Niqo’s total funding to $21 million. The round also saw significant investments from new investor Fulcrum Global Capital and existing investor Omnivore. Series B funding will go towards expansion across India and into other parts of the world. A Niqo-equipped sprayer in action. Image credit: Niqo Robotics‘Bubble-up’ vs. ‘trickle-down’ innovation Niqo Sense ..read more
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‘People don’t realize how much fashion needs new materials’ but biomaterials investors can be hard to find, say experts
AgFunder
by Jennifer Marston & Louisa Burwood-Taylor
3d ago
Fashion brands are desperately seeking new, sustainable materials as they come under increasing pressure to produce garments with improved environmental credentials, experts told the audiences of last week’s SynBioBeta conference in San Jose and Rethinking Materials in London this week. “A lot of people don’t realize how much the fashion industry needs new materials,” Jen Keane, founder of Modern Synthesis and a former designer for Adidas, explained on a panel at SynBioBeta. Her company has developed a microbial cellulose material to replace non-woven fabrics like leather. [Disclosure: AgFund ..read more
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?Fats from fermentation: Chewing the designer fat with Nourish Ingredients
AgFunder
by Elaine Watson
3d ago
The race is on to develop ‘designer’ fats for the next generation of food products. But will fats & oils produced by microbes in fermentation tanks ever be a cost-effective proposition? The answer, says Australian startup Nourish Ingredients, is that it depends. Attempting to produce a drop-in replacement for a commodity fat such as palm oil using microbial fermentation clearly makes no economic sense right now, says cofounder James Petrie. But if you can produce high-potency molecules that can be used at sub-1% inclusion rates to dramatically transform the flavor and cooking experience o ..read more
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Agribusiness markets & eGrocery still lead India’s agrifoodtech VC funding, but Bioenergy & Biomaterials on the rise
AgFunder
by Jennifer Marston
4d ago
Data Snapshot is a regular AgFunderNews feature analyzing agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder. Click here for more research from AgFunder and sign up to our newsletters to receive alerts about new research. Startups in the eGrocery and Agribusiness Marketplaces & Fintech categories continue to dominate funding in India. The two categories accounted for 62% of the country’s total agrifoodtech funding in 2023, according to AgFunder’s India AgriFoodTech Investment report created in partnership with VC firm Omnivore. This is a ..read more
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Unilever brand The Vegetarian Butcher partners with ‘animal-free’ egg protein pioneer The EVERY Co
AgFunder
by Elaine Watson
4d ago
The EVERY Company—the first player to commercialize egg proteins produced by microbes instead of chickens—has teamed up with Unilever-owned brand The Vegetarian Butcher to incorporate its animal-free egg whites into select meat alternative products as a clean label binder. A leading player in the alt meat space with products in thousands of retail and foodservice outlets across Europe and beyond with partnerships with Burger King and Subway, The Vegetarian Butcher was founded by Jaap Korteweg and Niko Koffeman in the Netherlands in 2010 and acquired by Unilever in 2018. Like many players in t ..read more
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Peakbridge closes $187m Growth Fund II, homes in on disruptive potential of AI
AgFunder
by Elaine Watson
4d ago
Agrifoodtech investor PeakBridge has closed its Growth Fund II at $187 million in partnership with Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, bringing its total AUM (assets under management) to more than $250 million. The fund targets series A and B stage startups in five categories in the US, Europe and Israel: ingredients innovation, alt protein technologies, digitalization and food systems 4.0, nutrition & health, and alternate farming systems. Investors include Grupo Bimbo, Royal Cosun, and Arancia; along with financial institutions such as Builder’s Initiative. Portfolio companies in Grow ..read more
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From novel cereals to electrostimulation for plants: AgFunder’s GROW Impact Accelerator selects 8 startups for 5th cohort
AgFunder
by AgFunder
5d ago
[Disclosure: AgFunder is the parent company of AgFunderNews.] The AgFunder GROW Impact Accelerator has unveiled the eight startups chosen to participate in its fifth cohort, which kicked off yesterday, May 14, 2024. This year saw Singapore-based agrifoodtech ecosystem builder GROW attract the highest-quality applicant pool in the accelerator’s history, with applications received from 74 countries and half the cohort led by women. This time around, the program’s focus is on closing the gap between the planet’s finite resources and 2030’s sustainable development goals, as well as finding agrifo ..read more
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New Culture strikes strategic partnership with CJ CheilJedang to ‘unlock commodity pricing’ for dairy via precision fermentation
AgFunder
by Elaine Watson
5d ago
New Culture​—a startup making casein proteins via precision fermentation to create ‘animal-free’ mozzarella—has announced a strategic partnership with Korean biomanufacturing giant CJ CheilJedang, giving it access to “some of the largest and most sophisticated fermentation facilities on the planet.” CJ CheilJedang, which invested in New Culture in 2022, is the world’s largest producer of bioproducts made from fermentation, and will help the San Leandro-based startup “unlock commodity pricing” for casein from fermentation without having to invest tens of millions in capex, cofounder ..read more
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