Next Century Spirits has raised $3.6m through a venture funding round led by Blue Hill Group.

Next Century Spirits processes distilled spirits through a combination of traditional techniques and finishing technologies, while Blue Hill is a private equity firm.

Following the transaction, Blue Hill’s investor Matthew Bronfman will act as chair of Next Century Spirits’ board.

Both companies involved in the transaction are based in the US.

Alibaba has agreed to invest CNY2bn ($288.3m) in wine and spirits importer

Following the transaction, Alibaba will own a 29% stake in, which has a presence in Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. The importer sells beers, spirits and wine products. intends to use the funds to open 2,000 retail outlets and further expand its footprint in China.

Pivot Pharmaceuticals has agreed to form a joint venture (JV) with Cartagena.

The JV will focus on creating cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beverages using Pivot’s water-soluble powdered cannabis technologies and Cartagena’s flavoured extract formulations.

“Hart Dairy has formed a joint venture (JV) with Kollaras and Co.”

Both companies will also provide the JV with extensive sales, distribution and marketing expertise.

Cartegena is a subsidiary of Licorera Del Sur, a Mexican company that crafts spirits such as tequila, mescal and agave liquor.

Arla Foods and MilkVita have entered a partnership agreement to develop dairy production in Bangladesh.

Based in Scandinavia, Arla Foods is one of the biggest producers of dairy products, while MilkVita is a manufacturer and distributor of milk and ice cream.

Bangladesh’s dairy production currently meets 40% of demand for milk products in the country. The partnership aims to bridge that gap, enabling both dairy co-operatives to share knowledge and exchange practices, as well as raise the quality standards of milk.

Hart Dairy has formed a joint venture (JV) with Kollaras and Co.

Named Dairy Fresh New Zealand, the JV will import dairy products from the US, Australia and New Zealand for distribution across Asia.

Based in the US, Hart Dairy is a producer of free-range dairy products in North America. Its range includes fresh milk, yoghurt, cheese and butter.

The transaction enables Hart Dairy to offer its products to Asian markets.