The waning days of August normally imply a slowdown in information, however not so within the crimson scorching meals tech area. This week’s meals tech funding information consists of (one more) quarter-billion spherical for meals waste unicorn Apeel, a bug farm’s recent $10 million, and the continued regular drumbeat of funding going into ghost kitchens.
Meals waste discount continues to garner investor curiosity and food-life extension startup Apeel is main the pack. The corporate, which announced this week it had raised a $250 million Collection E, plans to make use of its new funds to ramp up operations for 10 new provide networks over the subsequent 12 months so as to add to its already spectacular 30 meals suppliers and 40 retailers in 8 international locations.
The brand new funding spherical comes only a 12 months after its celebrity-infused (Oprah, Katie Perry) Collection D – additionally for $250 million – and brings the corporate’s complete funding to $635 million at a $2 billion valuation. That makes Apeel probably the most extremely valued startup in meals waste prevention, above Imperfect Meals (valued at $700 million in January of this 12 months).
Apeel’s, um, enchantment is that life-extension applied sciences are maybe a very powerful instrument to battle meals waste at grocery shops, which throw away about one-third of produce in any given 12 months. Apeel isn’t the one participant within the area as Hazel and Ryp Labs (the 2019 Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase winner) even have life-extension tech, however Apeel is the one with far and away probably the most market traction.
I’ll be watching to see if Apeel makes use of its funding and powerful market place to proceed to broaden its product portfolio past its core life-extension coating know-how. This 12 months’s acquisition of hyperspectral imaging company ImpactVision was a transfer in that path, and I can see the corporate making extra adjoining strikes beneath the broader meals waste prevention umbrella.
Ghost Kitchens/Digital Eating places
C3, $10 Million: C3, a digital restaurant startup that operates 40 completely different ideas as a part of its digital meals corridor idea, has secured a $10 million strategic investment from non-public fairness agency TriArtisan Capital Advisors. The funding, introduced this week, is an element of a bigger $80 million collection B funding spherical introduced.
BigSpoon Meals, $2 Million: BigSpoon Meals, a ghost kitchen and digital restaurant operator based mostly in India, has raised a $2 million pre-Collection A spherical from Dubai-based NB Ventures. BigSpoon runs its personal kitchens in a lot of mid-sized (what it calls tier 2 cities) and likewise has a portfolio of digital restaurant manufacturers. It presents a “digital franchise” mannequin that turnkeys a brand new franchise with a ghost kitchen facility and an arsenal of delivery-only restaurant manufacturers for roughly $20 thousand per location.
Beta Hatch, $10 Million: Cashmere Washington-based mealworm farm raised a $10 million funding round which it plans to make use of to broaden manufacturing at its flagship manufacturing facility east of Seattle. Beta Hatch’s 42 thousand sq. foot facility produces mealworms to be used in feed for livestock and pets and plans to make use of its money infusion to extend manufacturing by 10x over the subsequent 12 months.
Soften&Marble, €750,000: Soften&Marble, previously generally known as Biopetrolia, introduced this week it had raised a €750,000 (~$876,000 USD) seed round to additional develop its fermentation-based fat for plant-based meals. M&M and others like Motif are constructing out the toolbox for plant-based meat manufacturers to make their merchandise extra meat-like.
Shandi, $700,000: Singapore-based Shandi, a maker of plant-based rooster analogs (together with shreds, items, strips, and drumsticks), has raised a $700 thousand seed round. This spherical, its second seed spherical, was led by the massive Singaporean meals conglomerate Tolaram Group.
Supply & Marketplaces
Trifecta, $20 Million: Natural meal package startup Trifecta has raised a $20 million Collection B. Whereas many first-gen meal package startups fizzled, among the entrants’ give attention to well being and sustainability appears to be gaining traction. Trifecta, Thistle, and Freshrealm have all raised funding rounds this 12 months, which implies the class has moved past the cold-shoulder a lot of them obtained after the disappointing Blue Apron IPO and closures of corporations like Chef’d and Plated. As for what it needs to make use of the funding for, Trifecta needs to broaden its meal choices and, maybe ill-advisedly, needs to broaden its digital choices and turn into ‘Peleton of Vitamin.’
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