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Exclusive: Where 20+ AgriFoodTech investors will invest next
We’re back with a bang!
To give you a head start in 2024, we caught up with investors at Siddhi Capital, FoodLabs, Clear Current Capital, Big Idea Ventures, Mudcake, FLORA Ventures, Better Bite VC (+20 more) to hear where they’ll be investing next.
A cheatsheet for fundraising founders 🔦 A crystal ball for the curious 🔮
So to find out what’s tipped to be the hottest trends of 2024, head this way.
This week in Food:
🌮 Taco look at Taco Bells next partner
🐟 The reel deal? 3D printed vegan eel
🍄 Funding Finland’s FOAK fungi facility
Credit: Bloomberg Finance L.P., Rabobank 2023
📈 What’s up? Experts are expecting the price of sweet treats to increase as extreme weather events cause global sugar prices to soar.
📉 What’s down? Spanish B2B plant-based meat startup RIP Foods has shut down operations after four years in business, citing “financial difficulties and the inability to secure further funding”. Get the back story.
🍫 Data from Mintel shows that UK chocolate consumption has decreased since the roll out of regulations restricting high in fat, salt or sugar products from key locations in stores.
🔮 Good Read: Green Queen’s founder and editor-in-chief, Sonalie Figueiras, predicts the major future food trends of 2024.
💡 Interesting: Want to know the origins of the word ‘AgriFoodTech’? Louisa Burwood-Taylor at AgFunderNews explains all.
💰 One Acre Fund announced a reinsurance fund to protect smallholder farmers in Africa against the impact of extreme weather events, helping to prevent losses when disaster strikes.
↗️ 7 critical areas AgriFoodTech needs to innovate and scale in 2024.
Funding x Funds
Credit: Fa Bio
🧺 Dutch online grocery company Picnic secured €355 million to expand its presence in France and Germany. It delivers lower-cost, own-brand groceries from local distribution warehouses using small electric vans, and uses AI-powered demand forecasting to minimise waste.
🇯🇵 The Japanese government awarded grants worth $19.6 million to two alternative protein startups: plant-based egg company Umami United and cell culture technology firm IntegriCulture.
🐌 British biotech Fa Bio raised £5.3 million, in a funding round led by Clean Growth Fund, to help restore the biodiversity of degraded soils and increase crop productivity. It uses its ‘SporSenZ’ technology, a targeted microbial sampling strategy, to collect data and microbial isolates from agricultural fields, then develops the most promising microbes into agricultural bioproducts for the ‘most important crops’ in the global food system.
💰 Kost Capital completed the first close of its targeted €25 million first fund, with which it will support 20-25 pre-seed and seed-stage European startups using renewable biological resources to produce future food solutions. Here’s how you can get on their radar.
👀 Read all 14 funding rounds from the year so far, including Series A for an Indian agritech startup and Perfect Day’s new funding and leadership switch.
New in Startups
🍯 MeliBio is rolling out its bee-free honey in the UK, Switzerland, and Austria, in partnership with Slovenian food maker Narayan, marking the first stage of a $10 million, four-year deal to reach 75,000 stores across Europe.
🛒 Dutch startup GreenSwapp demonstrated its AI-powered product carbon tracker, which works with electronic shelf labels and Point Of Sale systems to display carbon impact data on retail shelves, at CES 2024 this week.
🐶 US pet health products company Innovet unveiled ChefPaw, a home pet food maker which can cook up to six pounds of homemade dog food in 40 minutes.
Credit: Steakholder Foods
🐟 Israel’s Steakholder Foods unveiled the industry’s first 3D-printed vegan eel, made using its proprietary bioprinting process, called DropJet, and a unique mix of materials to achieve the fish’s complex texture.
🍗 UK-based vegan meat brand THIS joined forces with brewery and pub chain BrewDog to launch what are claimed to be Europe’s first skin-on plant-based chicken wings.
📈 British vegan fried chick*n company VFC has rebranded to the Vegan Food Group, with the aim of becoming “a vegan Unilever” as it accelerates its operations and expects its sales to hit £25 million in 2024. Get the TL;DR
🐶 PawCo Foods, founded by former Impossible Foods employee Dr. Mahsa Vazin, launched what it says are the “very first” fresh shelf-stable plant-based dog foods, developed using AI for nutrition optimisation and palatability.
🍄 Israel’s Mush Foods is launching its 50CUT mycelium blends in the US market to foodservice customers, to help support meat reduction in restaurant meals.
Belgian plant-based brands are drawing attention to the disparities in taxes on milk alternatives in the country, which they describe as “discriminatory”, since milks made from almond, oat, and pea are not legally considered to be alternative milk sources so are heavily taxed.
🍔 Next Level Burger has acquired fast-casual chain Veggie Grill from VegInvest, in a move that makes Next Level Burger the largest fast-casual vegan chain in North America and marks one of the largest M&A deals in the US plant-based sector.
Now in Retail
Credit: Juicy Marbles
🥩 Slovenian startup Juicy Marbles launched its plant-based marbled steak into more than 350 Tesco stores in the UK, at a lower price than animal steak.
🍄 Colorado-based mycelium meat producer Meati Foods announced a distribution deal with Super Target stores across the US, adding to its existing distribution with the likes of Whole Foods and Albertsons, meaning its products will be on the shelves of 3,600 stores by the end of the month.
🍗 Plant-based chicken company TiNDLE Foods is making its retail debut in Switzerland, with an exclusive launch into more than 440 Coop stores nationwide.
🧫 The UK’s Marks & Spencer has partnered with nutrition-science company Zoe to deliver a world-first collaboration in the form of a new Gut Shot, formulated with over five billion live cultures from 14 strains of friendly bacteria.
Credit: Kraft Heinz x Taco Bell
🌮 Kraft Heinz is partnering with Taco Bell on a pair of meal kits, so consumers can make the fast-food chain’s Crunchwrap Supreme and Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla at home.
❌ Carrefour is pulling several PepsiCo product ranges, including Pepsi, Lay’s chips and 7up, in four European countries, citing problematic price hikes.
🥣 WK Kellogg Co debuted a new vegan cereal brand, Eat Your Mouth Off, designed to appeal to the snacking habits of Gen Z consumers and containing 22 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
🧈 Upfield unveiled what it says is the “world’s first” plastic-free recyclable tub for its plant-based butters and spreads, developed in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group and designed to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, saving over 25,000 tons of plastic waste per year. Take a closer look.
🍄 UK supermarket Sainsbury’s is replacing plastic with cardboard on its own-brand mushroom punnets, in a move which will save over 775 tonnes of plastic and marking the largest single plastics removal in its history.
From the Community
Looking for a new job?
👋 Looking to reduce the impact of food production? Join the Innosuisse event Sustainable Food Systems in Lugano on 7 March giving the floor to engaged entrepreneurs and seasoned experts spanning the entire value chain.
✍️ A sketch up of how to generate a profitable business idea.
👀 Kicking off your investment round in 2024? Try these 5 free resources to save you time and energy
😎 Just for fun: Raising a new round in FoodTech rn.
Hope you’re having a great start to 2024.
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Until next time - Stay Hungry