What a strange/wonderful/fireworks-filled week. With a holiday smack-dab in the middle of the Monday through Friday grind (did you read our piece on how to have a Food Tech Fourth?), we’ve been feeling the summertime hazies a little stronger than usual. How about you?
But food tech news stops for no holiday! So we’ve rounded up a few of the buzziest stories that caught our eye around the web this week. Best read while eating a popsicle.
In Seattle, no more plastic straws or utensils
On July 1st Seattle’s ban on plastic straws and utensils went into effect, making it the first major U.S. city to ban the single-use plastics in foodservice in an effort to reduce their negative environmental impact. Any restaurant or coffee shop still serving up plastic utensils will be subject to a fine of up to $250. Around the world, cities and countries are working to ban plastic straws, bags, and utensils. Seattle will be our first major test case to see if these types of restrictions can hold water in the U.S.
Corporate catering startup HungerBox nets $4.5 million
This week Bangalore-based startup HungerBox raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by NeoPlux and Sabre Partners. Founded in 2016, the B2B company coordinates food catering for large corporations. They plan to use their new capital to expand throughout India and further into the Southeast Asian market. Just last week two U.S. startups focused on corporate catering also raised some capital, with ezCater snagging $100 million and Hungry raising $1.5 million.
Deliveroo launches Edition kitchen in Paris
On Tuesday food delivery company Deliveroo opened up their first Editions food hub in Saint-Ouen, just outside of Paris. If you didn’t know, Editions projects are essentially curated clusters of cloud (delivery only) kitchens. This is Deliveroo’s first Editions location in France and houses 12 restaurants. The Editions model has proved successful in London, where Deliveroo is based, as well as its other locations in Singapore and Australia — and it shows no signs of slowing down. (If you missed my conversation with Deliveroo’s Dan Warne at SKS Europe, you can see it here).
Otto changes name to Vivid Robotics, picks up $4.9 million from Vulcan
It’s always easier to change your name when you do it before you come out of stealth, and that’s exactly what
Otto Vivid Robotics just did. The Seattle based robotics startup is changing its name at the same time it picks up an additional $4.9 million in funding. The new round had a total of 19 investors, with Paul Allen’s investment arm, Vulcan, acting as lead. Vivid CEO Garett Ochs explained the name change to Geekwire, “We’re going to be creating products for food, and we’re also going to be creating other things. We wanted to do rebranding so we are set up for a more streamlined approach to a divergent future.”
Just a reminder: we’ll be in Providence, Rhode Island on July 17th talking about the future of seafood at Providence Pilotworks. Join us if you are looking to get your foodtech fill and have a conversation about the future of seafood.