GLOBAL – Food startups in the plant-based and cultivated meat sector are popular when it comes to large ticket funding.  

This week, ethnic egrocer Weee! Takes the startup investment of the week crown from the plant-based scene having managed to raise US$425 million in a Series E funding round led by Soft Bank vision 2. 

The round also saw participation from Greyhound Capital brings the company’s total funding to more than US$800 million and pushes its valuation to US$4.1 billion. 

Founded in 2015 by Larry Liu, Weee! offers a wide assortment of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indian and Latin offerings. 

The company will use funds from the Series E round to expand its offerings across new and existing global cuisines.

It also plans to scale its grocery and food delivery services to new geographies and invest in warehouse automation and artificial intelligence technologies to improve its customer experience. 

“Food is massively underserved in the US, and we believe that Weee! is in a prime position to meet the demands of customers,” said Lydia Jett, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors. 

“Weee!’s strong execution capabilities and reach across multiple ethnic groups, coupled with a unique customer experience model leveraging AI, has enabled it to scale effectively in a rapidly evolving grocery market.” 

Cultivated seafood company Wildtype secures $100m in funding 

Cultivated seafood company Wildtype joins the ranks of well-funded food startups with its recent US$100 million funding round.  

The funding round was led by L Catterton and saw participation from Leonardo DiCaprio, Bezos Expeditions, Temasek, S2G Ventures Oceans and Seafood Fund, Robert Downey Jr’s FootPrint Coalition and Cargill. 

The San Fransisco based company plans to use the funds to expand its production capacity as it prepares for a US market launch. 

According to Wildtype, consumers can “expect to see cell-cultivated, sushi-grade salmon alongside wild and farmed varieties” in the future. 

Next-Gen Foods closes US$100m Series A round 

Earlier, meat alternative producer Next Gen Foods, raised US$100 million in Series A financing to expand operations at its Singapore facility and bring its flagship chicken analogue Tindle to the Unites States. 

The round marked the largest Series A to date for a plant-based meat maker, according to the company. 

New investors EDBI, Alpha JWC Ventures and MPL Ventures participated in the Series A round alongside returning investors Temasek, Global Fund GGV Capital, K3 Ventures and Bits x Bites. 

Good Culture raises $64m in Series C round 

Clean label cultured dairy producer, Good Culture, is set to further expand its business and grow its team after a successful US$64 million series C round. 

The round was led by private equity firm Manna Tree. Other participants included SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and celebrity investor Kristen Bell. 

Jesse Merrill, co-founder and CEO, said: “We are evolving from a cottage cheese and sour cream brand to a healing cultured foods company and this new round of funding will help propel our efforts to create positive food system change.  

Expansion and best-in-class innovation will continue to be primary areas of emphasis for the company.” 

Last year, Good Culture partnered with Dairy Farmers of America to launch a program focused on pasture-raised milk supply using regenerative farming practices. 

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