🏅 European FoodTech TOP 50

Last month, we released our annual report on the state of the European FoodTech ecosystem (which you can download here). Today, I’d like to share insights from the webinar we organised on the future of FoodTech and DigitalFoodLab’s Europe FoodTech 50 for 2024.

Europe FoodTech 50

First, let’s look at the startups of last year’s top 50 (here is the link to the mapping). As for the rest of the ecosystem, it was a rough year for many companies. However, only one shut down (Karakuri, a food robotics startup). What is more worrying is what has not happened:

An optimistic view would be to consider that we should be on the verge of a “wave of exits” (or failures) in the 18 months ahead.

Now, how did we make the list for 2024?

Each year, we aim to make our process even more thorough and rigorous. First, from the huge pool of 3,500+ active FoodTech startups in Europe, we select those that have raised significant funding (depending on their categories) over the past three years and rank them using the following questions:

  • Trend: is the startup surfing on key trends identified by DigitalFoodLab?
  • Funding or profitability: Is there enough money to go to the next level?
  • Hype: Can it communicate its service or product well enough to attract interest?
  • Exit potential: can it realistically become either a unicorn (become a leader and go through an IPO) or be acquired in less than five years

In a word, this is a combination of objective and subjective information to provide a snapshot of what is happening right now in Europe’s FoodTech and which are the best players.

You can find here the list with the names, links and activity descriptions of the 50 startups.

With this list of companies, we want to give you an easy and concrete view of the trends shaping up the vision that entrepreneurs and investors have of the future of food (in Europe).

Most of these startups are already well-developed. Collectively, they raised €8B, with a notable drop between 2022 (€2.6B raised) and 2023 (a bit less than €800M). However, they are on a good start for 2024 with already more than €600M raised.

Another impressive element to point out is the evolution of many of these companies from growth to profitability for those with a product or service ready to be sold, which is now the case of an overwhelming majority of these companies. Again, it translates both a change in perception in values and also a growing maturity of the FoodTech ecosystem.

Compared to investments, The Europe FoodTech 50 gives a growing importance to food science startups, in all three sub-categories:

  • alternative proteins startups which use technologies such as precision fermentation, biomass fermentation or cellular agriculture to recreate plan and animal proteins.
  • brands: beverages, new food products or plant-based alternatives.
  • future and healthier ingredients, even if this space is comparatively smaller in Europe than in other continents.

We believe this space and AgTech have the biggest potential to deliver growth in the year ahead, both in terms of “ecosystem growth” (funding and new startups) and in terms of industry adoption.


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