Forbes: Something Big Is Cooking In Israel’s Food Tech Kitchen
Something Big Is Cooking In Israel’s Food Tech Kitchen
It’s been a *big* year for Israeli Food-Tech, with four major deals this year already:
AB InBev, which owns Budweiser, bought Weissbeerger for $80M. This was about analytics to provide insights into consumer preferences and habits.
International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) bought Frutarom for $7.1B –this was about R&D and market share.
Takeaway.com bought online food marketplace Ten Bis for $157M –this was about buying a successful platform for hungry techies and exporting it abroad.
And then came the banner deal: Pepsico bought SodaStream for $3.2B. This is hugely important for Pepsi –who have been trying to buy SodaStream for a while as it tries to brand itself as a company that cares about people’s health.
Foodtech in general is a growing trend around the world, and there are specific areas where Israel especially stands out. And stand out it has. Start-Up Nation Finder is tracking some 250 currently active companies working in the field –a steady increase in the number of companies over the past few years. Investment activity has been strong for years now, with between 19–33 venture-backed investments rounds annually since 2014 and an overall increase in total funding annually. In 2017, Food Tech companies brought in $117M total in 27 rounds. Exits—even excluding Frutarom—have been growing in value and number, too.
So far in 2018, investment has been steady over the first two quarters: $15.15M in four rounds (one other undisclosed), then $16.6M in four rounds (two others undisclosed).
An area that’s emerging as exciting is clean meat: two companies (Future Meat and SuperMeat) completed rounds in the first half of the year ($2.2M and $3M, respectively). Aleph farms— part of The Kitchen food tech incubator–has recently announced advances in expanding the composition of clean meat itself and of growing it in a more structured way.
International funds focused on this area are investing in Israel, and the Good Food Institute has established an Israeli presence.
There’s also a lot of interest in personalized nutrition: Nutrino ($8M), DayTwo (undisclosed), Metaflow (also known as Lumen) ($7M). Other areas that have been appraised highly lately: logistics (Bringg—$27M), and ready-made meals (Genie—$10M).