AgTech Digest: Significant Funding Announcements, Agrivoltaic Projects & Certification
Navigating Innovations and Milestones in Agricultural Technology
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Recent Funding Developments in AgTech
Elo Life Systems Nets $20.5M Raised in Series A2 Financing
Elo Life Systems raised $20.5 million in a Series A2 financing round, co-led by DCVC Bio and Novo Holdings. The company plans to scale its monk-fruit sweetener, expand its molecular-farming pipeline, and enhance crop protection efforts. Elo's approach combines molecular farming with sustainability goals to produce cost-effective, eco-friendly ingredients. Their first product, a natural sweetener 300 times sweeter than sugar without calories, is set to launch in 2026.
Infinite Roots Secures €53 Million in Series B Funding
In a Series B funding round, infinite Roots, previously known as Mushlabs, has successfully raised €53 million. This funding round is the largest ever for mycelium technology in Europe. The round was led by Dr. Hans Riegel Holding (HRH), with significant contributions from the EIC Fund, REWE Group, and other investors. The funds raised will be used to expand production capacities and initiate global launch activities. According to CEO Dr. Mazen Rizk, infinite Roots is focused on creating sustainable, mycelium-based food products. The investment reflects the growing demand for sustainable food alternatives among consumers.
Bluewhite’s Series C Funding Achievement
Bluewhite, an agricultural Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) company, raised $39M in Series C funding led by Insight Partners. The company aims to scale its autonomous tractor and farming solutions globally and address challenges faced by agriculture. The market for autonomous tractors is projected to reach $11.5B by 2030. Bluewhite's innovative technology integrates AI and computer vision for autonomous farming tasks and offers real-time data-driven farm management insights. Their solutions have already facilitated over 50,000 hours of autonomous farming activity across 150,000 acres in California and Washington.
ArcTern Ventures Secures $335M for Climate Tech Fund
ArcTern Ventures has announced that it has managed to raise $335 million in commitments for its Fund III, which is $35 million more than its original target of $300 million. The fund has attracted investments from major institutions such as TD Bank Group, Allianz, and Credit Suisse Asset Management. ArcTern Ventures focuses on early growth-stage companies in North America and Europe, aiming to maximize greenhouse gas reduction. Fund III is registered under the EU's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations as an Article 9 fund. The investments will be directed towards renewable energy, clean mobility, and sustainable agriculture sectors.
Neatleaf Secures $4M in Funding from AgFunder
Neatleaf is an innovative platform for cultivation management that leverages AI, data, and robotics to improve crop management and yields. The company has secured a significant funding of $4 million, led by AgFunder, a foodtech and agtech investor. The flagship product of Neatleaf is the Neatleaf Spyder, an autonomous robotic platform that conducts comprehensive scans of indoor crops, generating extensive data for plant health and growth. With advanced-data analysis, Neatleaf's technology can offer critical insights for crop management, detecting issues before they're visible to the human eye. Established in 2020, Neatleaf has a vision for efficient and sustainable cultivation and operates globally with a diverse team of experts.
Kaffe Bueno Secures €6.2 Million Investment
Danish bioscience company Kaffe Bueno has secured a €6.2m investment led by Borregaard, to scale up its coffee by-products upcycling technology and expand globally. Borregaard has recognized Kaffe Bueno's innovative approach and potential for bio-based solutions and is investing in the business, transforming coffee by-products into high-value products for niche markets, focusing on personal care. KAFFOIL®, KAFFAGE®, and KAFFAIR® are examples of products already introduced by Kaffe Bueno in the personal care industry, utilizing upcycled coffee grounds.
PhageLab Secures $11 Million in Funding
PhageLab raised $11 million in funding from investors, including Nazca, Collaborative Fund, and Water Lemon Ventures, to tackle antibiotic resistance in the livestock industry. They use a proprietary microbial bioinformatics platform, AI, and phage-based solutions to create customized treatments for reducing antibiotic dependence. The funding will help expand their team, establish a commercial presence in Brazil and the US, and launch new products like INSPEKTOR for Salmonella in poultry.
Eatable Adventures’ New 30M Euro Investment Fund for Foodtech Startups
Eatable Adventures has closed the first round of funding for the Europe Foodtech Acceleration Fund I SCSp, amounting to 30 million euros. The fund's primary objective is to invest in agri-food industry seed projects based on technology. It includes Spain Foodtech and FoodSeed programs. Despite the challenging economic environment, the Foodtech sector has exhibited resilience, thanks to technological advancements and collaborations. The fund has made initial investments of six million euros in nine Foodtech startups focusing on sustainability and efficiency in food production. Eatable Adventures has been a significant player in the growth and innovation of the Foodtech sector, with several successful projects in its portfolio.
AgTech Research and Development Updates
IBERS Receives £3.3M Grant For Research On Clover
The UK government has granted £3.3 million for legume research to reduce fertilizer use and livestock agriculture emissions. The project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming by 78% by 2035. Scientists at Aberystwyth University at IBERS lead the project, focusing on red and white clover and Birdsfoot Trefoil to improve livestock productivity while reducing dependency on chemical nitrogen fertilizer. The NUE-Leg project is funded by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
Micropep Technologies US EPA Classifies As MPD-01
Micropep Technologies (Micropep) has announced that its peptide-based biofungicide, MPD-01, has been classified as a "biochemical-like" active ingredient by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This classification paves the way for MPD-01's entry into the market as a less toxic alternative to conventional pesticides. MPD-01 is derived from a naturally occurring micropeptide found in tomato plants, making it nature-derived and non-toxic. It has shown proven effectiveness in field trials for disease control and increasing crop yields, particularly in potatoes, soybeans, and grapes across various global locations. Micropep has utilized an AI pipeline to generate an extensive library of antifungal peptides, ensuring the active, stable, and producible nature of MPD-01. With its broad spectrum of activities, MPD-01 is a sustainable solution for agriculture, meeting global disease control challenges while supporting regenerative farming practices.
Sustainability Initiatives in Agricultural Technology
CNH Industrial Latest News: Investing in Eco-Friendly Agriculture
CNH Ventures is supporting Nature's Net Wrap, a Canadian startup, to develop the first viable compostable net wrap for agricultural bales. The innovation is aimed at reducing approximately 2.5 million tons of plastic waste annually, which is created by traditional bale wraps that often end up in landfills and contaminate the soil. The market demand for chemical- and plastic-free solutions in agriculture is growing, and the product launch is expected in 2024. The compostable net wrap is made from biopolymers derived from renewable resources, providing a sustainable alternative to current baling methods. This investment is part of CNH's broader initiative to promote sustainable agricultural practices worldwide.
Regrow Ag Latest News: Transforming Rice Cultivation in the Mekong Delta
Regrow Ag is part of the "Transforming Rice Value Chains for Climate Resilient and Sustainable Development in the Mekong Delta" (TRVC) project, funded by DFAT and managed by SNV. The initiative focuses on An Giang, Dong Thap, and Kien Giang, critical to Vietnam's rice production and heavily impacted by climate change. Regrow's Agriculture Resilience Platform measures sustainable farming practices. The project aims to involve 200,000 rice farming households in carbon markets, improving their livelihoods and reducing methane emissions. The TRVC project aligns with Vietnam's NDC goals, aiming to generate significant carbon credits.
RWE Launches Innovative Agri-PV Plant in Germany
RWE's Agri-PV plant has recently started providing green electricity in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The plant was constructed in just five months and is located on a seven-hectare plot of recultivated land near the Garzweiler opencast mine. The project aims to explore the coexistence of solar power generation and agriculture by utilizing three unique Agri-PV configurations for diverse crop cultivation. The project is supported by two research institutes and is part of the progres.nrw climate and energy transition program.
Agoro Carbon Alliance Surpasses 2M Acres In Sustainable Ag Practices Across The U.S.
Agoro Carbon Alliance has registered 2 million acres in sustainable agricultural practices in the United States. This registration is projected to capture more than 7.5 million tons of carbon during the contractual periods. The company's rapid expansion indicates an increased interest in carbon farming and ranching. Agoro Carbon's program focuses on agricultural sustainability, increased profitability for producers, and substantial contributions to climate action. With the help of Yara International's support, Agoro Carbon utilizes crop nutrition and sustainability expertise.
Bioceres Crop Solution: Releases Global GHG Emissions Report
Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. has recently published its greenhouse gas emissions report for the fiscal year 2023. The report outlines the company's emissions from Scope 1 and 2 across all operations in Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, and the U.S. Bioceres has made significant reductions in emissions by switching to renewable energy and investing in energy-efficient utilities. In the FY23 greenhouse gas emissions report, the company recorded 8,187 metric tons of CO2e, with a 33.7% global Scope 2 emissions reduction. CEO Federico Trucco emphasizes the company's commitment to reducing emissions in agriculture and enhancing sustainability in its operations.
Technological Advancements and Partnerships in Agriculture
AgCulture Partners with Farmwave
AgCulture has announced an exclusive partnership with Farmwave's Harvest Vision to provide yield loss monitoring services in Australia. Promising results were obtained during initial trials carried out in the 2023-2024 Australian harvest season, which showed a significant reduction in grain loss. The technology aims to address the issue of approximately $800 million worth of grains lost annually during harvest in Australia. The collaboration will continue into the 2024-2025 season, during which the technology will be tailored to Australian conditions. The adoption of Farmwave's solution in Australia, which is the fifth country and third continent to do so, demonstrates its global applicability.
FBN Unveils New Crop Protection Products
Farmers Business Network, Inc. (FBN) has announced the introduction of ten innovative crop protection products to its range, significantly expanding its offerings to Canadian farmers. The new products are specialized for wheat cultivation, with eight items designed specifically for wheat growers, including FBN ProTEB, FBN 2,4-D, and several Wheat CoPacks. In addition, FBN has launched a digital crop protection planning system called FBN Acre Plans, which aims to optimize input planning and purchasing for growers. The company has also expanded its delivery network, ensuring that 97% of growing acreage in Canada is within a 250-mile radius of an FBN logistics center. The launch of these products highlights FBN's commitment to boosting the profitability and efficiency of Canadian farmers’ operations.
John Deere Latest News: 2024 Startup Collaborator Program Participants
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has recently launched its 2024 Startup Collaborator program, featuring six innovative startups. The program aims to integrate advanced technologies into agriculture and construction, and focuses on mutual learning and exploring new methods to enhance customer value. According to Dennis Muszalski, VP at John Deere, the selected startups specialize in various fields, including satellite-based land analysis, artificial intelligence, quantum sensing, bidirectional charging platforms, digital logistics solutions, and production management software. The initiative addresses diverse challenges and opportunities in the agricultural and construction sectors, underscoring John Deere's commitment to advancing agricultural and construction technology. This program reinforces John Deere's position as a global leader in these industries.
Corporate and Legal News in AgTech
ADM Latest News: Class Action Lawsuit Filed For Alleged Securities Fraud
A class action lawsuit has been filed by Block & Leviton LLP against Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and certain executives for securities fraud. The lawsuit pertains to the period from April 30, 2020, to January 22, 2024. ADM is accused of making false statements and failing to disclose material facts about its Nutrition segment's performance and accounting practices. The lawsuit alleges that ADM improperly accounted for its Nutrition segment, falsely inflating its growth and financial results. ADM's CFO, Vikram Luther, has been placed on leave during an investigation into the company's accounting practices, particularly in the Nutrition segment.