FoodTech Weekly #148 by Daniel S. Ruben

News on FoodTech, food, and society

FoodTech Weekly #148

Hi there,

I’m still on a high from last week’s HackSummit in Switzerland (1 min recap video here, and tons of #HackSummit love here). Big kudos to the organizing team (below) that made it all happen.

HackSummit organizing team

Next up for me is Sweden FoodTech Big Meet, May 31 - June 2.

This week's rundown:

  • Prime Roots brings home the (mycelium) bacon with $30M new funding round

  • Pairwise launches mustard greens in the U.S. made tastier using CRISPR

  • Italian scientists make fully rechargeable battery using entirely edible components

Let's go!


  • Plenty of exciting convos coming up, from circular farming and ag robotics to alt protein and more — I just haven’t had the time to edit them 🙂 


  • U.S. scale-up Prime Roots has banked a $30M Series B round, bringing its total funding north of $50M. Investors included e.g. Monde Nissin, SOSV, and Gaingels. Prime Roots uses koji mycelium to create deli meats (e.g. koji turkey, ham, salami etc) and spreads.

  • French startup Agriodor has clinched €5M in fresh funding from e.g. Capagro, BNP Paribas, and Cap Horn; the company develops an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides (hat tip: DigitalFoodLab). Agriodor’s granules are spread by farmers in fields, and emit an odor that’s repulsing to certain insects.

  • Resurrect Bio of the U.K. raised a $2M Seed round from AgFunder and others. The startup helps plants create resistance to pathogens.

  • Montreal, Canada company ChrysaLabs has bagged a $11M Series A round from e.g. Leaps by Bayer, TELUS Ventures, and BDC Capital. The startup enables soil samples that within 30 seconds can analyze 40 different soil parameters such as macronutrients, micronutrients, pH, organic matter, organic carbon, moisture, and more. These insights help farmers make better decisions around e.g. fertilizer use.

  • Poignant reminder that FMCG (CPG) food and bev brands usually do not scale like tech, and big exits are uncommon.

  • Spanish startups Foody’s and Cocuus have announced an alliance to bring 3D-bioprinted seafood and meat analogs to market. A vegan bacon product will be launched this summer.

  • Startup Cana, which had raised about $30M and had developed an appliance it claimed could create and customize pretty much any beverage, has shut down.

  • Cultivated meat could emit 25% more CO2e than conventional beef, a new not-yet peer-reviewed study from UC Davis says (although GFI disagrees).

  • Lantmännen in Sweden just inaugurated a SEK 800M ($75M) new facility to extract wheat protein (gluten); the organization is increasingly active in the alt protein space.

  • Gene-edited (via CRISPR) mustard greens from Pairwise have launched in U.S. foodservice under the brand Conscious Greens; the company has removed the bitterness and made the greens taste more like lettuce. Pairwise aims to use CRISPR to make greens healthier and more appealing to consumers. For a deepdive on Pairwise, listen to this podcast I did (together with my co-host Sandra Malmberg) with Haven Baker, co-founder of Pairwise.

Image: Conscious Foods

News from the FoodTech Weekly community

  • Hoxton Farms (U.K) is looking for a Chief of Staff… Cultivated Biosciences (Switzerland) is recruiting a Sr. Fermentation Scientist… The Rockefeller Foundation (U.S.) is hiring a Managing Director, Food is Medicine… Improvin’ (Sweden) has a number of open roles… Multus (U.K) wants to bring on a Synthetic Biologist.

  • Imran Afzal is running a workshop on “Corporate Readiness” for start-ups about to under-go acceleration in EIT Food’s Accelerator Network (FAN) at the start of June 2023. He's looking to interview (20 minutes) mature start-ups that have had a bit of exposure and experience of corporate engagements such as Proof of Concepts, Tech Validations, and Pilots. As a thank you, Imran will credit your company and send you a copy of the workshop presentation afterwards. To join, email him at [email protected]

  • Don’t miss out on Sweden FoodTech Big Meet, if you’re in this neck of the woods May 31 - June 2, 2023.

Want to share some FoodTech news/project with other FoodTech Weekly subscribers? Hit reply.

Random Stuff

  • An Italian man was fined nearly €900 for filling a pothole that his local council had failed to repair.

  • Meanwhile, Italian scientists have made a fully rechargeable battery using entirely edible components (h/t Niko McCarty).

  • Also in Italy, the Industry Minister called an emergency meeting after the price of pasta spiked (Italians eat about 23 kg, or 50 lbs, of pasta per capita every year).

  • Extantia showed some examples of an uninvestable cap table:

  • People in Japan are taking lessons relearning how to smile, after COVID-19 mandated mask wearing for everyone, which led to some people having a complex about smiling.

​I love you.


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This issue was produced while listening to Can’t Tame Her by Zara Larsson. Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter. And here's the Appetizer which I co-host. Did your brilliant friend forward this to you? Subscribe here.

Disclosures: I'm Head of Strategy and Special Projects at Stockeld Dreamery. I'm an operating advisor to VC/investment firms Nordic FoodTech VC, Trellis Road, and Blume Equity. I'm a mentor at accelerators Katapult Ocean, Big Idea Ventures, and Norrsken Impact Accelerator. I'm an advisor to BIOMILQ, FoodHack, Hooked, Ignitia, Improvin, IRRIOT, Juicy Marbles, Lupinta, NitroCapt, Oceanium, petgood, Rootically, Transship, VEAT, and Volta Greentech; in some of these startups, I have equity.
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