Food+Ag Tech News: July 24 - July 30
A Weekly Press Review About FoodTech
Boston-based Toast Inc., a startup that makes point-of-sale software systems for restaurants, announced Tuesday it has raised $101 million as it plans to hire 1,000 people nationwide over the next year in a half.
Seattle-based Arzeda has raised a $12 million Series A round to expand the capacity of its synthetic protein and enzyme development operation. The nine-year old company designs proteins for Fortune 500 companies in fields including but not limited to agriculture.
Agriculture-focused innovation accelerator SproutX has partnered with Sydney’s Stone & Chalk for a new hub in Melbourne that combines finance with agri-tech. SproutX will house the hub at its co-working space, which will be centred on exploring how finance technology can solve agriculture issues. It is touted by the pair as highly important given 40 percent of the world’s labour force is engaged in the industry.
Tel Aviv-based startup Prospera has raised a $15 million Series B to expand the scope of its technology, which uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to help farmers analyze data gathered from their fields. The round was led by Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from Cisco Investments, ICV and returning investor Bessemer Venture Partners, and brings Prospera’s total funding to $22 million (its Series A was covered by TechCrunch in July 2016).
Of all the changes announced in the past few weeks by the Campbell Soup Co., the most revealing one is this: the company has hired a former Amazon executive to lead a new e-commerce division.
Regulators in California took a pivotal step on Monday toward becoming the first state to require the popular weed killer Roundup to come with a label warning that it’s known to cause cancer. Officials announced that starting July 7 the weed killer’s main ingredient, glyphosate, will appear on a list California keeps of potentially cancerous chemicals. A year later, the listing could come with warning labels on the product, officials said.
The launch of the S700 combine series is the latest example of how John Deere integrates technology. “The S700 Series is the next step in our evolution,” says Randy Sergesketter, senior vice president of global crop harvesting.
Another day, another sign of Amazon’s ambitious plans to shake up the American food system. Reuters reports that on Wednesday, representatives from the e-commerce giant will meet with a small, influential group of ranchers who specialize in organic and grass-fed beef.
In an attempt to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, Google is making changes to the food it serves its employees: everything from blending burgers with mushrooms to a data-driven quest to create the most delicious vegan taco.
As consumer values continue to evolve beyond price and convenience, grocers have raced to meet increasingly nuanced demand for healthy, environmentally sustainable and ethically created food. But as retailers invest in innovations for the consumer of today, questions remain about the food market of tomorrow.
A Finnish research team has taken a step towards the future of food by developing a method for producing food from electricity. If scaling it up proves to be successful, it could be a tool in the fight against world hunger and climate change.
Picture this: You walk into a restaurant; the host greets you by name and seats you at your favorite table in the corner. You’ve hardly had time to put your napkin on your lap, and the server is pouring the off-menu wine that you loved on your last visit. When telling you about the day’s specials, the server mentions how close one of them is to a dish you enjoyed recently. There’s no need to wait for the check at the end of the meal or hassle with splitting the bill; they already have your credit card details on file.