BOARDROOM

Brazilian sustainable foodtech raises $1.6mn in pre-series funding round

Mercado Diferente, an organic foodtech that works on a subscription model to supply produce from small suppliers to customers in 53 cities across Brazil, has raised $1.6mn in pre-series A funding. The investment, which brings the company’s funding to over $8mn, will be used to expand into refrigerated goods and establish an associated brand of sauces, juices and eggs. The platform works to fight food waste by prioritising items that do not meet aesthetic standards, allowing them to offer products at a 40% markdown. Having focused on product development from inception, the company now plans to move into an extensive marketing phase to accelerate national growth.

IDB and BancoSol launch first Bolivian bond to promote women-led businesses

With the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), microfinancier BancoSol has launched a $30mn+ ‘gender bond,’ which will be the first of its kind in Bolivia. The funds will go women-led SMEs, with the goal of financing at least 4,500 enterprises. If IDB meets its portfolio objectives, the bank has committed to an extra $200,000 of financing. Working with the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi), BancoSol is looking to support the development of women in the Amazon region as part of its “Avanza Mujer” strategy.

ClimateX raises $18mn to expand analysis of corporate climate risks

Climate risk platform ClimateX has raised $18mn in a Series A round led by Google Ventures. The UK-based platform has quickly become one of the fastest growing providers of climate risk analytics, allowing users to model the likelihood of 16 climate hazards and eight global warming scenarios over a century and assessing their associated impacts down to individual asset-level. ClimateX currently works with leading asset managers including Legal & General and Virgin Money on residential, commercial and infrastructure projects.

Downforce Technologies closes £3.9mn round for soil carbon measurement

Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) startup Downforce Technologies has raised £3.9mn following a funding round led by Equator VC, a venture capital firm that specialises in early-stage climate interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Downforce works with farmers and landowners to track soil health and carbon sequestration. Currently working in the UK, US, Australia and Kenya, the start-up has big plans for expansion in the Americas, as well as developing land management and reporting capabilities.