Food Waste Startups Raise $125M+, Sweetgreen Becomes a Unicorn, Blue Apron Lays Off 4% of Employees + More

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.

Big news dropped this week that Amazon will be opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, New York and Arlington, Virginia. Some in the tech world are excited about the talent the tech giant will attract to each city, while others are concerned about the large subsidies and impact on housing costs. Expects lots of debate on this in the coming weeks and months.

After a $200 million cash infusion from Fidelity Investments, Sweetgreen has officially reached unicorn status. Now, it’s setting its sights on becoming a platform. Expect to see the company venturing into new food categories and investing more heavily in its tech and supply chain.

In other news, food waste startups raised over $125 million since the beginning of 2018, according to a ReFED report.

Blue Apron and Starbucks had a tough week. Blue Apron’s revenue has dropped 28 percent since the same quarter last year, forcing the company to lay off 4 percent of its workforce. As a result its stock dropped 6 percent. Blue Apron’s stock has lost nearly 90 percent of its value since it went public last year. Starbucks laid off 350 of its senior executives in an attempt to boost profit.

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. More Than $125 Million Poured Into Food Waste Startups In 2018 – Forbes

Food Waste startups have raised $125m in the first 10 months of 2018 alone, finds a new ReFED report.

2. Why $200 Million Will Make Sweetgreen The Next Big Thing In Delivery (And, Yes, A Unicorn)Forbes

Sweetgreen has raised a $200m financing round led by Fidelity Investments, valuing the company at more than $1b. Sweetgreen will use this funding to expand into other food categories, as well as to invest in its supply chain, technology and social impact.

3. Blue Apron’s Stock Falls 6% After the Meal Delivery Company Lays off 4% of Its WorkforceFortune

As revenue fell 28 percent from the same quarter in 2017, the layoffs are an effort to push the company closer to profitability.

4. Amazon’s HQ2 Decision Proves Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Dead. But after $2 billion in Tax Breaks, Affordable Housing Will BeNew Food Economy

Amazon chose the country’s two most powerful metro areas for its new headquarters. The choice signals the company’s vast ambition in policy, media, and physical retail. But what will residents of Arlington and New York get in return?

5. Brazil: Movile Raises $400 Million For Its iFood Delivery Business TechCrunch

The Brazilian technology conglomerate has just raised one of the largest rounds ever recorded for a Latin American startup, pulling in an additional $400 million for its iFood subsidiary from existing investors, including Naspers and Innova Capital.

6. John Boehner-Backed Pot Stock Goes Public With $2.8 Billion ValueInvestor’s Business Daily

Acreage Holdings joined the ranks of U.S. marijuana stocks trading in Canada Thursday, after completing a deal to go public that values the company at $2.8 billion and installs former House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld on the board.

7. Canadian Coffee Chain Plans to Partially Pivot to Cannabis – Skift Table

Second Cup Ltd. has identified more than 20 Ontario locations that it hopes to convert into pot shops as the coffee chain undergoes a strategic review.

8. What Went Wrong at Honeygrow? – Skift Table

Honeygrow, a fast casual stir fry and salad chain based out of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be exiting the Chicago market, closing down several locations in New York and D.C., and pulling back on all expansion efforts in 2019.

9. Starbucks Cuts 5% of Corporate Workers – Bloomberg

In an attempt to boost profit and appease apprehensive investors, Starbucks is laying off nearly 350 corporate employees.

10. 3D-Printed Vegan Steaks to Debut in 2020 – VegNews

Jet-Eat creates whole cuts of vegan meat using 3D-modeling technology.

11. Daily Harvest “Experiments” with New Products and Retail Concept – Nosh

The direct-to-consumer brand launched a healthy cookie last week, and this week it is opening The Refueling Station, an interactive retail space

12. 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


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The post Food Waste Startups Raise $125M+, Sweetgreen Becomes a Unicorn, Blue Apron Lays Off 4% of Employees + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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