Zomato becomes first Indian unicorn to go public raising US$1.26B in successful IPO

INDIA – Indian food delivery start-up Zomato has become the first Indian unicorn to go public, successfully raising over US$1.26 billion in an IPO that was more than 38 times oversubscribed.  The food delivery startup which also lets users book tables and aggregates reviews for restaurants finally debuted in India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) in July at ₹116 (US$1.56), a 53% premium over the IPO price of ₹76 (US$1.02), and closed at ₹125.8 (US$1.69) per share on its first day.  Zomato has said it will utilise the net proceeds from the fresh issue for funding organic and inorganic growth initiatives…

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Germany packaging equipment supplier KHS establishes modern regional center in Kenya

KENYA – KHS, an international manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment for the beverage, food, and non-food sectors, has broken ground for the construction of state-of-the-art center in Kenya. The regional hub, targeted to serve the East African community will feature a number of training and conference rooms, offices and a large warehouse for spare parts and installation tools. It is scheduled for completion in 2022, indicated KHS on a LinkedIn post. “Our growing KHS team will be perfectly positioned to continue its role as the reliable local partner on…

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Tropical weather forecasting company Ignitia closes US$ 4.2m financing round to fuel expansion

WEST AFRICA – Agtech company, Ignitia has closed a US$ 4.2m financing round led by Novastar Ventures with participation from IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, Future Foodways, Mercy Corps, Norrsken and Finca International. The funding will enable the company to extend its Sub-Saharan Africa footprint to new markets. It also represents another stepping-stone towards its 2030 mission to reach 200 million farmers. Ignitia, headquatered in Sweden, was founded in 2010 by three scientists from renowned research institutions such as NASA, who joined forces to address the seemingly impossible task of producing reliable…

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Kenya’s leading meat processing company QMP Group set for growth following Tana Africa Capital’s investment

KENYA – Mauritius based holding company, Africa Protein Holdings Limited, owners of Quality Meat Packers Ltd and Anirita Poultry Farm Plc, have received backing from Africa-focused investment company, Tana Africa Capital. The leading Pan-African private equity firm has undertaken the equity investment through its second fund Tana Africa Capital II, acquiring a minority stake in the company for an undisclosed amount. The Velji family remain the majority owner of the business, with the support aimed to transform its Kenya based business, QMP Group, into a leading African meat processing company…

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Lamb Weston invests US$415m in expanding US facility to meet rising demand

US – Lamb Weston, one of the world’s largest producers and processors of frozen french fries, is investing US$415 million into the expansion of its facility in American Falls, Idaho.   Expansion works include the construction of a new processing line with capacity to produce more than 350 million pounds of frozen french fries and other potato products each year.  Work will also be undertaken to modernise the facility, which was built in 1961, enabling it to accommodate the new line which is expected to be ready by mid-2023, and more than 130 additional staff. The announcement follows news that Lamb Weston…

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US Plant-based startups Nobell Foods, Urban Remedy raise funds to accelerate growth

US – Plant-based startups Nobell Foods and Urban Remedy have raised new funds to build internal capacities, accelerate growth, and fund expansion into new markets.  Nobell Foods, a California-based Plant-based cheese startup, raised US$75 million in a Series B funding round that was led by venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz.  Investment groups Breakthrough Energy Ventures and FootPrint Coalition Ventures, as well as several other participants also participated in the round that raised Nobell Food’s total funding secured so far to over US$100 million.   Nobell plans to use the funding to increase its internal team, expand farming partnerships,…

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Kenyan integrated food producer SimpliFine taps into fast growing frozen food, ready-to-cook segment

KENYA – SimpliFine, a food production company offering accessible, locally sourced meat, vegetables, baked goods and other foods to restaurants, hotels, and retailers across East Africa, is set for a rapid expansion in the Kenyan market. This follows the acquisition of Alpha Fine Foods, a Kenyan producer of premium meat products, by its parent company BlackIvy. As part of its endeavours of expanding its market share in the country, SimpliFine is launching 19 new meat and vegetarian products. These include frozen meats, prepared meal accompaniments and a range of ready-to-cook…

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Direct Pack expands US food packaging facility as Pregis invests US$80m in new film extrusion plant

US – Direct Pack, a US manufacturer of thermoformed plastic packaging for food applications, has expanded its facility in Rockingham, North Carolina in line with its strategy for continued growth.  The Rockingham site produces a variety of food packaging containers including salad bowls and custom packaging for hot and cold fresh food applications.  The new expansion project is reported to have added 56,000 square feet of space, allowing Direct Pack to install additional flexible manufacturing lines that support a “24/7 operation”.  According to Direct Pack, the expanded Rockingham facility has…

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Alternative protein company Nature’s Fynd raises US$350m to accelerate go-to-market strategy

US – Alternative protein company Nature’s Fynd has raised US$350 million in a Series C round funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, more than tripling the funding it’s raised to date, according to a report by Crunchbase.   Nature’s Fynd said it will use the money to accelerate growth by expanding production capacity, developing partnerships, laying the foundation for global expansion, and adding new products to its portfolio.  The company, specializing in the production of fermented protein, is yet to have products in the market but plans a limited rollout later this year and a nationwide launch and international expansion in 2022.  Nature’s Fynd, previously known…

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White Castle invests in additional retail capabilities as General Assembly Pizza secures new production facility

US – US fast-food chain White Castle is investing US$27 million to expand its retail food manufacturing facility which supplies packaged sliders to food retailers nationwide.  The project will see the size of the plant double from approximately 75,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet and is expected to be completed by June next year.   The fast-food chain says when the new production lines are fully operational, the facility will employ an additional 75 people.  White Castle introduced its retail division in 1987 and claims to have been the first fast-food restaurant to offer its menu items at grocery stores…

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