Like all companies, FoodTech startups are suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Some, as delivery startups, may benefit from it (as it has happened in Asian countries stricken by the virus). In Europe, most delivery startups are putting in place contactless deliveries. Even if this is just a short-lived increase, this will not impact badly these businesses. That’s why we focused this week’s newsletter on delivery.
Others may suffer a lot more from the current or incoming quarantines. Young ventures which were raising funds, software startups serving the foodservice industry or D2C premium brands may be affected. Let’s hope this situation doesn’t last too long.
#1 – Impossible Food raises $500M
Two weeks after slashing its prices in foodservice (restaurants), Impossible Foods announces a new investment of $500 Million from existing investors with the addition of Mirae AM (a Korean asset management firm). This additional funding is clearly oriented toward growth and fighting competition:
- Research and innovation, notably toward pork and sausages (domain where Beyond Meat is already active)
- Grow its International presence and scale up its production
- Continue to grow in foodservice (where it seems both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat make the most of their growth)
#2 – DoorDash prepares for its IPO
DoorDash discreetly filed documents for an upcoming IPO (being publicly traded). It would join the handle of publicly-traded FoodTech companies (Delivery Hero, Uber/UberEats, Beyond Meat, HelloFresh, etc.).The startup is leading the restaurant delivery market in the US while facing steep competition from Uber, Postmates, Grubhub and many other players.
#3 – Manna will start Drones Deliveries in Dublin next month
Manna is one of Europe’s leading food drones and robots startups. Robots, like those of Starship Technologies (another European startup), are already delivering food in US universities through partnerships with big brands such as PepsiCo. But the gap between robots and drabs may be diminishing with Manna launching its experiment with Ben&Jerry’s.
Students at UCD (University College Dublin) will be able to get delivered ice cream (and Thai meals from a local restaurant) at selected pick-up points.
#4 – Uber for groceries startups are expanding into meal delivery
Instacart, the grocery delivery startup is growing its offering. Today, the company is now expanding its offering with Instacart Meals. The consumer will have the availably to order both its groceries and ready-to-eat meals. More than a competitor to DoorDash or UberEats, this should be seen as a move going with the increasing place retailers are giving to foodservice. Indeed, more and more players are now betting that the winning offer is to be able to give the opportunity to the consumer to offer both groceries and ready-to-eat (and even personalised as in the case of Instacart Meals).
Europe has one notable equivalent to Instacart with Supermercato24. Based in Milan and founded in 2014, the startup is already covering all of Italy for deliveries. It has acquired Szopi in Poland in late 2019 to develop there. In late January, it has raised a new round of €11million. It has now raised more than €28million, making it the biggest source of Food/RetailTech investments in Italy and one of the leading “next generation FoodTech startups” of Europe. This new influx of capital is aiming at growing the company in new countries by the end of 2020.
You still want more, here are some of our favourite reads of the last couple of weeks:
- Basil street raises $10M for its pizza vending machine
- Arya, an Indian startup, raises a $6M series B to help farmers sell their grain at the best price
- Huel, the British competitor to Soylent (US), Feed (France) and YFood (Germany) claims to be on a $100m revenue run and gives some data to prove it. As very few startups share insights about their sales and growth, this should be interesting for many looking to understand hyper-growth or compare their business. It was interestingly followed a week later by a deep-dive article from YFood on their growth (with somewhat less sales data). Is this a sign that the meal replacement market is becoming increasingly competitive?
- Protix, the Dutch insect producer raises an undisclosed round from the Private Equity arm of Rabobank
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).