Cue – this week’s spotlight, raised $15.5 million in venture capital funding to continue its work building out molecular-level, self-tracking, preventative health care devices.

Cue works via a system to take in saliva, blood or nasal swabs, which it then analyzes in real-time, and provide health recommendations based on other data like activity and fitness level.  Inflammation, vitamin D, fertility, influenza, and testosterone are the 5 key indicators Cue promises to track. Based in San Diego, California in the U.S.

Aira Tech – develops wearable assistive products for visually impaired and low-vision consumers through sensors and wearables that enhance auditory (or hearing) inputs. $12 million in Series B funding to total $15.34 million from 7 investors. Based in La Jolla, California in the U.S.

Clover Health – continuous, real-time monitoring using data, machine learning and predictive analytics to help avoid hospital admissions, reduce health care spending, and improve health outcomes. $130 million in Series D funding to now total $425 million from 18 investors. Based in San Francisco, California in the U.S.

Dodla Dairy covered last Friday, Dodla is a milk production company that sources sustainable milk across thousands of smallholder farms in India. Raised $50 million via the $2 billion Rise Fund, the social impact fund from private equity giant TPG’s Growth platform.  Based in Hyderabad, India.

Source: Farmnote Japan

Farmnote – makes a unique livestock-wearable device called the Farmnote Color, which is attached to an animal’s head and gathers information about each animal’s activity in real time. Through a companion analytical platform, Farmnote then sends farmers alerts to their mobile phones such as when cattle are unwell, ovulating, or are giving birth. The wearable can be worn by dairy cows or beef cattle. Raised ¥500 million ($4.6 million) in funding through the public/private VC Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, the Norinchukin Bank and Sumitomo Corporation. Based in Obihiro, Japan.

Guardant Health – next-generation sequencing and rare-cell diagnostics to fight cancer, through liquid biopsies, a way of finding DNA in the blood that has been shed by tumor cells. Raised $360 million in Series E to total $550 million from 18 investors. Based in Redwood City, California.

Invenia – develops a machine learning platform to improve energy intelligence, optimize power grids and reduce emissions. Raised $5 million in Series A. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Neighborly – aims to democratize and modernize the $1 billion per day municipal bond market through an online platform to help fund community projects like parks, libraries, roads, schools or, in the future, neighborhood energy microgrids. Raised $25 million to total $30 million from 15 investors. Based in San Francisco, California in the U.S.

OpenInvest – a robo-advisor, “social impact investing platform for retail investors” has raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Based in San Francisco, California in the U.S.

Propel – a startup that helps food stamp recipients manage their benefits, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The U.S. food stamp system is a $70 billion program that reaches 45 million Americans today. Based in Brooklyn, New York in the U.S.

Smart Earth Seeds – a vertical, plant breeding company that develops high-omega meal and oil products derived from its proprietary camelina genetics platform. Has raised $300 thousand, and expects another $2 million from other investors.  Based in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Other Deals of Interest

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation hosted a benefit performance of the Broadway musical Hamilton on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco and raised almost $1 million for innovative cancer research. The event attracted notable attendees including: Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube; Chamath Palihapitiya of Social Capital LP, who is also a part-owner of the Golden State Warriors NBA team and an original member of the Facebook management team. The foundation has invested over $327 million and funded nearly 3,600 young scientists, including 12 Nobel Prize winners.

Prospect Silicon Valley, along with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) were awarded $2 million by The California Energy Commission to research, develop and demonstrate an advanced energy management and grid services system for electric transit bus fleets.

ADM Capital, a London-based private equity and investment firm, has completed a $100 million first close of its new global agribusiness investment vehicle, the Cibus FundThe new fund will focus on mid-market investment opportunities in sustainable food processing and production companies in Europe and Australasia. It is targeting a $500 million final close in 2018.

Rockit Global, a New Zealand company that holds the global rights to the patented mini Rockit apple variety, has sold over 50% of the company to two private equity firms for around N$25 million ($17 million).

AgTech/FoodTech Startup Events

FoodBytes announced its ten finalists for its New York event in June (via AgFunder).

  • AgVoice – food and agricultural insight through voice.
  • Burlap & Barrel Spices – e-commerce site to source artisan-made spices.
  • Flashfood Inc – discounted food surplus app to trim grocery and restaurant food waste.
  • Gebni – on demand meal pricing to reduce the cost of restaurant takeout.
  • Impact Vision – hyperspectral tech to provide insights on food quality.
  • Nom Noms World Food – ready-made, family-friendly meals and hot wraps.
  • Real Oyster Cult – app to source sustainably farm-raised oysters via overnight delivery.
  • Seal the Seasons – source frozen in-season produce at peak ripeness from local farmers.
  • Verdical.io – automated indoor gardening system seed-to-harvest.
  • Wanderfuel – curated health food and wellness content.

Future Food Asia also announced its contenders for startup prize funding on May 26 in Singapore.

  • Agrint – tech to fight the Red Palm Weevil, the most harmful and undetectable pest in Palm and Coconut trees (Israel).
  • Bethesda Scientific – micro-encapsulation tech to protect rice seedlings from pests (Taiwan).
  • Biolight – medical devices to enhance the immunity of livestock (Korea).
  • Doux Matok – flavor delivery tech that enhances sweetness or saltiness in food (Israel).
  • Eruvaka – aquaculture IoT tech company (India).
  • Farm Friend – Uber of agricultural drone services (China).
  • Smart Animal Husbandry Care – tech to improve tracking of pig livestock (Singapore).
  • String Bio – tech to convert methane gas to single cell protein for animal feed (India).

Inspiration

AngelList founder and CEO Naval Ravikant took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt New York on Wednesday May 17th and talked about increasing access for and to investors via “Angel Funds,” which is essentially an expansion of its popular “Syndicates” product.

Sources: Crunchbase, TechCrunchMobiHealth News, AgFunder