Zepto Zooms to $3.6B Valuation, India’s eGrocery Booms

The eGrocery sector, while facing challenges globally, is showing vibrant resilience, particularly in India. Quick-commerce app Zepto has made headlines by securing a colossal $665 million in funding, propelling its valuation to $3.6 billion. Founded by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, Zepto’s 10-minute delivery model has captured significant investor interest, underscoring the sustained potential of rapid grocery delivery in the Indian market.

Meanwhile, Turkish eGrocery giant Getir has also achieved a substantial milestone, raising $250 million. This influx of capital comes as the company restructures into two distinct businesses, signaling a strategic pivot to optimize operations and perhaps focus on profitability amid a competitive landscape.

In a different corner of the world, Australia’s recycled plastics startup, Samsara Eco, has garnered AUD $100 million ($66 million) in a Series A+ round. This funding will support the development and commercialization of their enzymatically recycled polyester products, a significant step towards sustainable fashion. Notably, Lululemon has backed this round, marking its entry into the recycled materials space.

Shifting to Europe, Denmark has introduced a pioneering tax on carbon emissions for livestock farmers, charging €100 per cow. This move aims to mitigate agricultural emissions, setting a precedent for environmental accountability in the farming sector. The tax is expected to drive innovation in sustainable farming practices, though it may also raise concerns about the financial burden on farmers.

In Latin America, iFood has launched iFood Pago, a digital bank specifically for restaurants. This initiative aims to streamline financial operations for eateries, offering tailored banking solutions to enhance efficiency and profitability in the food service industry.

On the legislative front, the debate over cultivated meat intensifies in the United States. More lawmakers are pushing back against federal support for lab-grown meat, citing potential health risks and economic threats to traditional farming. This opposition could impact the future trajectory of the cultivated meat industry, which is still in its nascent stages.

In the realm of foodtech funding, several startups have made notable strides. Foodsmart, a telenutrition platform, secured $200 million from The Rise Fund, indicating strong investor confidence in digital health solutions. Citrus juice startup Naked Rivals raised $3 million, while Cellivate Technologies won $3.3 million on a business reality TV show to advance its cell-based meat production technology. These investments reflect a growing interest in innovative food solutions that promise convenience and sustainability.

Additionally, Ai Palette, an AI-driven food trends platform, extended its Series A1 round with a $1.45 million investment from InnoVen Capital, bringing its total funding to over $7.7 million. South Africa’s Immobazyme also raised $1.3 million to enhance its production of precision fermentation-derived proteins, a testament to the burgeoning field of alternative proteins.

In the agtech and biomaterials sector, Sid’s Farm, a dairy startup, raised $10 million in its Series A round, while Cleantech Kilimo secured $7.5 million to advance its water-saving irrigation technology. Foray Bioscience attracted $3 million to protect and restore natural ecosystems through biomanufacturing.

Partnerships and acquisitions are also reshaping the industry. SoundHound AI acquired the ordering platform Allset, expanding its capabilities in the restaurant tech space. Microsoft has partnered with Indigo Ag to purchase carbon credits, reinforcing its commitment to sustainability. Meanwhile, CNH Industrial has teamed up with Bluewhite to introduce autonomous technology for specialty crop equipment, enhancing efficiency in orchards and vineyards.

As the agrifoodtech landscape evolves, these developments highlight the sector’s dynamism and the diverse approaches companies are taking to address both consumer demands and environmental challenges. From rapid grocery delivery and sustainable materials to digital banking and legislative battles, the industry is navigating a complex and rapidly changing environment.

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