Tupu, a Berlin-based agtech startup has gobbled a $3.2 million seed round to revolutionise food production through its decentralised farming system. The funding round was co-led by FoodLabs known for backing startups such as PoLoPo and MicroHarvest and Zubi Capital that recently backed Kausal alongside Clear Current Capital, FoodHack, IT-Farm, Coast Cap, and prominent business angels in the food and tech industry such as Roger Hassan and Gil Horsky.
With the fresh capital, Tupu will further scale its production capacity and supply large players in the food service and retail sectors. Furthermore, the team is working on increasing space efficiency and advancing its automation technology.
Redefines mushroom cultivation
Mushrooms can be grown anywhere, indoors, and year-round, making them immune to supply chain disruptions, while offering incredible nutritional benefits at an environmental cost close to zero. Compared to other food sources, mushrooms surpass even vegetables in terms of CO2 emissions, water consumption, and land usage efficiency. However, the current journey from farm to fork is inefficient and unsustainable.
At the same time, there is a growing demand among consumers for organic, sustainable, and local products, driven by the rise of health consciousness, the surge in veganism, and the demand for sustainable meat alternatives.
Tupu was founded in 2021 by Eldad Arnon and Daniel Lock, experienced managers from the controlled environment farming industry giants Infarm and Kalera. Its mission is to unlock the untapped potential hidden in the mushroom kingdom.
Decentralised farming system for mushrooms
Combining bioscience, robotics, and AI, Tupu is developing a decentralised farming system to grow fresh and flavourful mushrooms locally in cities. It provides farm-fresh mushrooms to food services, restaurants, and grocery delivery companies. Tupu grows a diverse range of organic gourmet mushrooms directly in cities, offering consumers sustainable, farm-fresh products at a competitive price.
The company’s first farm launched in November last year and supplies over 3 tonnes a month to a wide range of customers from renowned local wholesalers to Michelin-starred chefs. Currently, some most renowned chefs in Berlin use Tupu’s mushrooms to craft new vegan creations.
“We are grateful to have such forward-thinking investors onboard that share our faith in the power of mushrooms to address the pressing challenges of global food insecurity in the face of the climate crisis,” said Eldad Arnon, co-founder and CEO of Tupu. “We envision a future where food is produced right where it is consumed and organic farm-fresh food is accessible to everyone.”
“While the vertical farming sector has been challenging recently, in particular for leafy greens and other energy-intensive crops, urban farming will play a key role in our future food system”, said Daniel, co-founder and COO. “Unlike plants, mushrooms have always been cultivated indoors, yet in an inefficient manner, and we’re leapfrogging the current state of the industry with our technology by 50 years. Mushrooms offer immense potential across various sectors – food is just the beginning.”
“Controlled environment farming is a key technology to make our food supply chain climate resilient. We’re excited about Tupu as they are able to make indoor farming economically viable,” added Till Hoelzer, Principal at FoodLabs. “As early backers of the company, we’re very happy about their recent funding round and their journey ahead.”