Zume Pizza Raises $375M, Instacart Launches Grocery Pickup Across US + More

Source: The Verge

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

After Pilotworks abruptly shutdown and left nearly 200 food businesses scrambling, crowdfunding sites PieShell and OurHarvest have launched a joint campaign to raise money for those impacted. Head here to support their efforts.

Softbank Vision Fund has invested $375 million in Zume, the robot pizza maker startup. Kraft Heinz has acquired AI startup Wellio for an undisclosed sum. Dirty Lemon has discontinued its CBD beverage, reflecting a larger response to the unpredictable space from big industry players like Coca-Cola.

And finally, Instacart has launched its grocery pick-up service nationwide.

Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.



1. SoftBank Deal Values Food Startup Zume at $2.25B – Wall Street Journal

The robot pizza maker has closed a $375m round of capital through SoftBank Vision Fund.


2. Instacart Launches Grocery Pickup Service in Cities Across the USThe Verge

The new pickup option works alongside Instacart’s delivery service, which supports many of the same supermarkets.


3. PieShell + OurHarvest Crowdfund for Businesses Impacted by Pilotworks Shutdown

OurHarvest and PieShell are currently running a crowdfunding campaign on PieShell for the businesses impacted by Pilotworks’ closure.


4. Kraft Heinz Acquires Food AI Startup Wellio, Kickstarts New Digital HubThe Spoon

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wellio’s service reads like a meal kit. The question now is whether Kraft Heinz will continue its product or integrate its AI capabilities.


5. Dirty Lemon Discontinues Sales and Production of CBD Elixir – BevNET

The company announced it will discontinue sales until the regulatory framework around hemp-derived CBD is clarified on a federal and state level.


6. Agrifood — the $8T Industry That’s Worth Your Salt – TechCrunch

Early-stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $10.1b in 2017, a 29% increase on the previous year.


7. The Food Giant Behind Peapod and Stop & Shop Will Build ‘Robot Supermarkets’ in a Bold Move to Keep Up in the Online Grocery WarsBusiness Insider

Ahold Delhaize will roll out small, automated warehouses to speed up its order picking and delivery times through its partnership with Takeoff.


8. Pressure Mounts to Get Farm Bill Done During Lame-Duck SessionPolitico

The big question is whether House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway will give up his push for controversial work requirements.


9. Noosa Yoghurt Merges with Sovos Brands, Eyes Up Category Extensions Beyond Spoonable Yogurt – Food Navigator

Sovos has a growing portfolio of premium CPG brands that plans to extend the Noosa brand into categories beyond spoonable yogurt.


10. Resy Acquires Reserve, in the Fierce Tussle Over Restaurant Reservations – New York Times

Financial terms were undisclosed. With the addition of Reserve, Resy will now serve 4k restaurants in the US.


11. Cannabis Operator 4Front Raises $31M on Mission to Professionalize the Industry – AgFunder

An undisclosed family office led the round. Funding will be used to help build out licenses within the company’s portfolio.


12. Rural America’s Favorite Store Is Moving Into the Big City – Bloomberg

Dollar General is trying to transcend its roots with a millennial-focused urban concept called DGX.


13. Alibaba Used Shoppers’ Data to Invent a Spicy Snickers Bar – Bloomberg

The e-commerce giant is vacuuming up data from people shopping, searching and sharing online and providing it to companies like Mars.


14. Women, Women of Color & Gender Non-Conforming Innovator Database

We created this open-source list to increase representation, support and investment in women, women of color & gender-nonconforming innovators in food. Join the list & help us spread the word using #womxninfood


15. Join the Alpha Food Labs Community

We’re rethinking the way food is made, starting with community. The Alpha Community. Join us to help develop, test, and get early access to food designed for your tastes and values.


Our newsletter is the absolute easiest way to stay on top of the emerging sector, so sign up for it today and never miss the latest food tech and innovation news and trends, Already signed up? Share the love with your friends and colleagues!

The post Zume Pizza Raises $375M, Instacart Launches Grocery Pickup Across US + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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Author: Phoebe Tran

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