Source: Food Business News
Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.
Amazon has unveiled Aplenty, a new private label food brand set to eventually include hundreds of products across a variety of center store categories. This could have huge implications Meanwhile, Impossible Foods is in talks to go public, either through an IPO or merger with a so-called SPAC that would value the company at around $10 billion or more.
In other news, several large investments closed this week – Hazel Technologies raised $70 million to combat food waste; Atlast Food raised $40 million for its fungi-based bacon; and Pizza ordering platform Slice raised $40 million.
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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
1. Amazon Unveils Aplenty, Its Newest Private Label Food Brand – Grocery Dive
The new line will soon include hundreds of sweet and salty snacks, frozen foods, baking mixes and standard pantry items in Amazon Fresh stores and online.
Impossible Foods is exploring going public through an IPO in the next 12 months or a merger with a so-called special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that would value the company at around $10b or more, sources told Reuters.
Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fun and Temasek led the round. Funding will go towards global expansion.
Investors included Stray Dog Capital, the founders of Applegate and Stonyfield Organics and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition Ventures. Atlas Food will use funding to construct and staff a new production facility.
Cross Creek led the round. Funding will go towards expanding the number of pizzerias on its platform to 20k and improving its product and services.
6. This Taiwanese Ghost Kitchen Is Going Public in Canada with Ambitions of Bringing Asian Virtual Brands to the US – Business Insider
JustKitchen, valued pre-market at $30m, plans to bring popular Asian brands to the US in partnership with CloudKitchens and Kitchen United.
Spinach leaves, when stripped of its layers to reveal its veiny “skeleton”, can be used as the vascular framework for bovine cells to grow isolated precursor cells.
8. Singapore: Grab Confirms Record-Breaking $40B SPAC Deal; Archival Gojek Nears $18B Merger – AgFunder
The deal will allow Singapore-based Grab to become a publicly traded company, giving it a post-money equity valuation of approximately $39.6b.
Agrifoodtech funding in China rose 66% year-on-year in 2020 to reach $6b. This growth again underlines the agrifood sector’s resilience, considering that total private equity and VC funding across all sectors in China dropped by 50% from 2019 levels.
10. Cultured Decadence Raises $1.6M to Make Lobster in a Lab – The Spoon
Investors include Bluestein Ventures, Joyance Partners and others. Funds will be used to create what it says will be the first cell-cultured lobster meat in North America.
11. PAR Acquires Guest Loyalty Platform Punchh for $500M – The Spoon
The deal adds loyalty and guest engagement software to PAR’s existing arsenal of restaurant tech tools, which currently includes a wide range of hardware and software products for restaurants.
The startup aims to provide accredited investors with access to institutional-grade farmland. During 2020, it reported a 178% growth of users.
Mushrooms’ extreme versatility; the pandemic-spurred interest in foraging; the passage of laws decriminalizing psychedelics; and the organic aesthetic of fungi all resulted in a moment where it’s hard to ignore the humble shroom.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Prosus co-led the round. Oda plans to use funds to expand to more markets, starting first with Finland and then Germany.
15. Is Booze the Next Frontier for Regenerative Agriculture? – Modern Farmer
Why alcoholic beverage producers are embracing the buzz-worthy farming practice.
16. Food Is Gen Z’s Top Spending Priority – Food Dive
Food took a 23% share of Gen Z’s spending this spring, with the greatest among upper-income male teens age 13 to 19.
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