Things are moving incredibly fast this year, with giant rounds of financing in startups without even a product and exciting new ventures popping out at a crazy speed. Again this week, the news are quite focused around clean meat (I will make a promise, no clean meat news in the next newsletter). We had some comments about this, as some don’t see the point or the potential of it. We don’t only talk about due to my keen interest in science fiction. Rather, we, at DigitalFoodLab, have a conviction that alternative proteins and lab-grown proteins can be a part of it, are one of the solutions for two of the humanity’s greatest issues environment and health.
#1 – Clean meat – what are we talking about?
It’s always good to go back to the meaning of this. What do we mean by clean, lab-grown and cultured mean? What processed are involved why it matters for the future food? That’s what we, DigitalFoodLab, explored in the article published this week in Maddynness.
More here in French on Maddyness and here in English on DigitalFoodLab
#2 – Delivery startups push for profitability
2020 will clearly be a difficult year for many of the big restaurant delivery startups. After 5 to 10 years of high growth, big and costly investments, they are now looking for profitability. Basically, all of the top players are looking for the same thing: being number one or at least number two in each market. And if that’s not possible, they are just quitting. The telling examples of Glovo, TakeAway and Uber just show that and how these big players are not betting on profitability.
#3 – Memphis Meats raised the biggest round ever in cultured meat
Memphis Meats, one of the leaders of cultured meat announced a huge $161m deal. As shown in our plant-based and clean meat startups investment report, this is more than the whole amount raised by this ecosystem until now. It’s also a huge deal for a startup working on a product that has not yet reached the market. And if the process of clean meat is getting nearer admissible prices, it is not yet there. However, the big names of the deal must have bought a credible plan among which are Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign fund, visionary billionaires such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and big food giants such as Tyson and Cargill.
#4 – Are we seeing the end of food robots
Will 2020 be the end of our dreams of food robots? Since the start of the year, three leading food robots startups have revealed (or being rumoured) to be in bad shape. Zume, the pizza robot, CafeX, the coffee robot kiosk startup and Creator, a burger robot joint have all three difficulties.
On the three cases, it seems that access to more capital is the issue. That, in turn, is linked for Zume and Creator at least, to Softbank current dealing with the aftermath of WeWork and Uber.
This hardship in finding capital is also an indication that super-high valuation rounds can be detrimental to startups (in November, Zume was rumoured to be raising money at a $4 Billion valuation). This is due to the hype and media attention that food robots received.
You still want more, here are some two additional notable events that happened in the last couple of weeks:
- Is a fruit ripe? Clarifruit raises $6m to answer that question on a mobile app.
- Perfect Day, which we talked about a few weeks ago for its $140m deal is rumoured to be considering an IPO. After all the craziness around Beyond Meat, what it would like for Perfect Day to go public?
- Noquo, a Swedish plant-based cheese alternative startup raised €3.25m to kickstart its operations
As you can see, FoodTech is indeed moving faster than ever in 2020. But you are not alone. DigitalFoodLab is here to help you :
- Stay at the top of your domain. We prove exclusive insights and information through talks and our FoodTech watch
- Prepare for the future. We help you make plans for long term trends and their implication on your business and to identify the right startup to work on your current issues.
- Innovate faster. We work with you to define the innovation strategy fitted to your business means and needs.
No matter if you are a startup or a food giant, we are here to work with you and change the world of food! (contact us).
Have a great week!