Venture investors poured $3.7 billion into foodtech startups in the second quarter of 2020, according to Pitchbook. That accounts for an increase of roughly 28% year-over-year at a time when dealmaking has sharply dropped elsewhere.
Foodtech by design is hard to define because it involves a whole host of startup concepts and technologies ranging from food delivery, food science, robot pizza joints, plant-based meat, community food sharing, hydroponic farming to homegrown microgreens.
Demand for food delivery is booming, driving a rise in investment in the ecosystem and likely permanently expanding the grocery delivery space, predicts Pitchbook.
Some segments of Foodtech were profoundly affected by the pandemic, which has revealed the weaknesses in the traditional supply chain and accelerated adoption timelines for new technologies.
Follow the money
But if median pre-money valuations rose to nearly $46 million in the first half of 2020, up more than 140% YoY, something is going right, which often means job creation. And startups often look to outsourcing tasks or projects to freelancers when they are in hyper-growth mode.
Foodtech is a sector to watch, whether you are a foodie, a techie, sales, marketing or delivery guru. For entrepreneurs and investors in the agtech startup space, David Friedberg is a major celebrity, according to the Future Food podcast. When Friedberg sold his startup, The Climate Corporation, for $1 billion in 2013 the business achieved “unicorn” status and put the category on the map. David now has an investment company The Production Board and his portfolio companies are hiring.
Startups that should be on your radar
Here is a list of some other foodtech companies worth looking into to see if your skills could be a suitable match.
Olio, an app that is being used around the world which connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items too.
Here’s a video showing how you would post your items on the Olio app.
Farmdrop, an online supermarket and foodshop delivery business that is also linking up with sustainable hydroponic farms, such as Berlin-based Infarm, which also has operations in the UK. The business supplies through a network of sustainable food producers, and on fair terms. Their driving mission is to fix the food chain by becoming the greenest and healthiest grocery service in the UK.
Infarm – an urban hydroponic farming company that specialises in growing exquisitely fresh herbs, salads, and various microgreens at the heart of major cities around the world.
The company claims it is setting a new standard in terms of sustainable farming as it requires 99.5% less space than soil-based agriculture, uses 95% less water, 90% less transport and zero chemical pesticides.
Meatless Farm is a UK-based plant-based meat replacement food company that specialises in a variety of meat alternatives including burgers. The company is gaining traction in the UK and in international markets. In addition to being made available in grocery stores and restaurants, the business is launching a pop-up drive-thru as part of its recently launched M… F… campaign, by taking over London’s famous American Car Wash at 35 Great Eastern Street, Hackney, EC2A 3ER. Open between 11am and 3pm from Wednesday 26th August through to bank holiday Monday 31st August.
Meatless Farm careers
Allplants, a London-based 100 % plant-based food prep and delivery service for people keen to have gourmet plant and vegetable meals delivered straight to their door. This online business is looking for tech-savvy talent and amazing foodies, kitchen managers, and others to help grow its reach to Vegans across the UK.
Here is a link to even more foodtech companies in the UK and Europe to pitch your services to.