Hello and welcome back to Last Week In Venture, the weekly rundown of deals which may have flown under your radar.
There are zillions of startups working on interesting problems, and the overwhelming majority of them do so outside the public market or unicorn company spotlight. Their stories are still worth sharing because they can provide a peek into where investors think the world is going. The small upstarts of today could be behemoths in the future.
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So, without further ado, let’s check out a sample from the week that was in venture-land.
Crickets are the pleasant sound of warm summer nights and the soul-crushing silence of a joke fallen flat. Dried, fried, or eaten whole, the sound is less a chirp and more a crispy crunch. (Tasty, right?) Ground into flour, mixed with other ingredients and baked into bars, the idea of eating crickets might sound a little less gross, at least to some.
SENS Foods is a Czech manufacturer and distributor of cricket protein products including snack bars, powders and crackers. The company raised €1.9 million (a little under $2.1 million) in Series A funding to help scale commercialization efforts. The round was co-led by Reflex Capital and Presto Ventures (formerly known as Bohemia Venture Capital).
The company says it operates the largest cricket farm in the world, in Thailand and that it wants to make cricket protein “cheaper than chicken.”
Left unabated, global carbon emissions and the climate change they catalyze threaten to turn life into something decidedly more solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short, for all but the most privileged on our planet.
The most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is ultimately going to involve moving the industrial energy mix off of fossil fuels. But once the cat is out of the bag, or the gas is already in the atmosphere, some of it can be sequestered.
Soil is the world’s largest carbon sink. And Nori, a Seattle-based startup, aims to continue building a marketplace which aims to help individuals and businesses offset some of their carbon footprint by incentivizing farmers to use sustainable practices which support bacteria in the top layer of soil which absorb and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This week, Nori announced $1.3 million in pre-seed funding. The company did not disclose who invested. Nori’s co-founder and CEO Paul Gambill told Geekwire that the capital will last the company through mid-2020 and that they intend to raise additional capital to further scale out its team of 10.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you probably use the internet. And you probably use a lot of different services, many of which have collected at least some personal data about you. Traipse around online long enough and you’ll probably leave a big data footprint somewhere.
Mine is a London-based startup aiming to help people discover where their data is located, understand how it’s being used and, if they want, ensure its removal from platforms. For those people living in a jurisdiction where the GDPR is enforceable (e.g. the EU), takedown requests come with some legal teeth.
In coverage of the round, EU-Startups.com reported: “Mine discovered that the average users have 400 companies in their footprint, out of which, more than 80% of the services are unused and can be deleted.”
Image Credits: Last Week In Venture graphic created by JD Battles. Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann, via Unsplash.