Summer is officially here in Seattle and life is glorious once again. But before we go picnic or jump in a lake, let’s take a look back at this week’s food tech news. We’ve got stories about tiny tomatoes grown in space, Square and Postmate’s new partnership, and a celebrity investment in a home cook marketplace.
Remember: Wear sunscreen!
Scientists are using CRISPR to make space tomatoes
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside are using CRISPR gene editing technology to make tomato plants that have tinier stems and leaves (h/t the New Food Economy) The new plants are meant for farmers that have very limited space to grow food, and where do you have more limited space than on your way to outer space? That’s right: last week the research team got a two-year, $800,000 grant from NASA to develop smaller tomatoes that will grow within the confines of the International Space Station.
Square partners with Postmates for on-demand delivery
This week Square teamed up with Postmates to expand on-demand delivery to more restaurants. VentureBeat reports that the integration will let retailers use Square’s payment platform to offer delivery options to customers directly after their purchase. Square already offers delivery through high-end food delivery service Caviar, which it acquired in 2014, but the new Postmates partnership drastically increases its reach.
Cannabis infused drink brand K-Zen Beverage raises $5 million
K-Zen Beverages, a young startup making cannabis-infused beverage “shots” in flavors like lemonade chamomile and wild berry, just announced that it has raised $5 million in seed funding (h/t Techcrunch). Based in the Bay Area, K-Zen is looking to begin rolling out its products in California dispensaries this summer.
Bollywood actor invests in home cook marketplace foodcloud
This week famed Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor invested an undisclosed amount in foodcloud, the online marketplace where people can sell home-cooked meals. Bollywood Hungama reports that Kapoor was attracted to foodcloud’s goal of empowering female home cooks to earn an independent income through their culinary skills. Based in New Delhi, Foodcloud has plans to expand to Mumbai and six other Indian cities.
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