H2 deep dive on the Foodtech landscape from the eyes of an international investor
We are very happy to present the next report in our series of industry deep dives, following our Digital Health, Communication and Collaboration, Wellbeing, Industrial Technology and Fintech Sector Reports. In our Foodtech Sector Report, we explore a landscape of products and services across online grocery, food delivery, D2C food companies, kitchen tech and alternative protein. We also present our views on the defining social and economic trends that are and will continue shaping the Foodtech sector, including consumer lifestyle, values and preferences as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the market globally.
At White Star Capital, Foodtech has been a key focus area for investment. Our portfolio includes startups such as Freshly, the leading ready-to-eat meal delivery in the US; Butternut Box, a London-based fresh pet food delivery company; and Dahmakan, a Malaysian fresh meal on-demand delivery service.
The Foodtech sector has been around and growing since the late 90s/early 2000s, pioneered by early comers in the online grocery and food delivery marketplaces like FreshDirect (1999) and Seamless (1999). Despite the relative maturity, we love the sector for its size and endless innovation driven by the fast-moving modern consumer. New opportunities are arising in the specialized marketplace arena, the alternative protein sector as well as the food production and distribution processes. Some other highlights from our report include:
- Funding in the Foodtech sector has grown at a 53% CAGR since 2011 as the food sector innovates to serve the evolving consumer demands. Deal volume has grown 27% CAGR over the same time period.
- The Foodtech ecosystem is maturing with a large number of IPO and M&A activity, however, funding has remained strong in Seed to Series B stages as well. Globally, there are 41 VC-backed Foodtech unicorns coming primarily from the US and Asia (predominantly China). European Foodtech companies were early to IPO with companies like Just Eat (2014), Takeaway.com (2016) and Delivery Hero (2017).
- The COVID-19 pandemic has provided strong tailwinds to the sector overall with online food delivery, groceries and D2C prepared meals at the forefront. Share prices of HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Just Eat Takeaway, Grubhub, Delivery Hero and Meituan Dianping have soared on average by 55% since the beginning of 2020.
Since its founding, White Star Capital has been investing in entrepreneurs pioneering change in both the consumer experience and the value-chain of Foodtech. As we enter the new decade, we are very excited to continue to invest in the sector’s most promising companies.
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About White Star Capital
White Star Capital is a global multi-stage technology investment platform that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. Operating out of New York, London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, our presence, perspective, and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards.