12 new unicorns in a much more tensed environment

Compared to last year, the context couldn’t be more different. Investments in FoodTech decreased significantly in 2022 and kept declining even more sharply in the first half of 2023. This gloomy funding environment is specifically affecting unicorns.

While they have lost some of their mythical status in the past couple of years, these startups act as beacons of an ecosystem comprising tens of thousands of ventures. Together, they create a fascinating snapshot of what is happening in the world of FoodTech.

FoodTech unicorns 2023

Regarding categories, delivery is still the most well-represented category, with 58% of the unicorns. However, this is 9 percentage points below last year’s distribution. Indeed, 12 new startups became unicorns in 2022, mostly around digitalisation, both in the retail supply chain and the foodservice industry.

The idea of foodtech startups becoming unicorns and then competing or replacing legacy businesses took a serious hit. Indeed, investments are declining, and with them the number of new unicorns. In the short term, we are going back to a few years ago when startups were mostly created to test new business models and technologies, to be then acquired by established companies.

Download our FoodTech unicorns report below for the full list of the 62 unicorns, stats and more data!

FoodTech unicorns 2023 cover

What is a unicorn?

A unicorn is a privately held startup publicly announcing a valuation above one billion dollars.

A company can stop being a unicorn:

  • following an acquisition (such as Wolt acquired by DoorDash);
  • if it becomes a public company following an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and is then traded. Some companies have their valuation moving beyond the $1B mark on this occasion, but they are excluded from our scope as we focus on private companies;
  • if it publicly announces a new round of financing with a valuation lower than $1B.

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