Another successful CES (and FoodTech Live!) is in the books. We saw digital noses, smart beer brewing machines, next-gen cooking devices and automated vertical farms. You can catch up on our coverage here (or on Instagram).
But while we were busy ogling smart kitchen devices and eating robot pizza, the food tech news did not grind to a halt. This week we’ve rounded up stories on vertical funding growth (funding and otherwise) plus a new plant-based burger offering. Eat up!
Babylon Micro-Farms announces $2.3 million seed round
Babylon Micro-Farms, a hydroponic farming technology startup, closed a $2.3 million seed round this week, bringing its total funding to $3 million (via AgFunder News). The seed round was led by early-stage investment group CIT GAP Funds, as well as startup incubator Plug and Play Ventures. The Charlttesville, VA-based company makes a plug-and-play hydroponics system for indoor growers, which can be managed remotely via an app. Thus far the system can grow leafy greens, edible flowers, herbs and micro-greens.
Vertical farming company Plenty expands Bay Area presence
Speaking of indoor agriculture, this week vertical farming company Plenty announced it would be increasing its footprint in the Bay Area. New Whole Foods locations in San Francisco — as well as several Bay Area Safeways — will carry produce grown in Plenty’s mini-farms. Retailers Andronico’s, Good Eggs, Berkeley Bowl, and Draeger’s already sell Plenty products. This news comes just a few months after Plenty shelved plans for a Seattle-area vertical farming operation.
Kroger launches new meatless burger patties
This week Kroger jumped on the meatless meat bandwagon when it released its own line of plant-based burgers. Emerge plant-based patties and meatless ground “beef”, both part of Kroger’s Simple Truth organic brand, are made with pea protein. These offerings are part of Kroger’s new Simple Truth Plant Based collection, which the grocery giant announced last September. Pricing and release date for the plant-based meat has not been disclosed.