I love to do a good list. And what I love even more is to look at old ones to see if I checked all the items or if things went in the direction I thought they would go. When we did our list of the Top 25 French FoodTech startups last year (here is last year’s mapping), I was already thinking about the update and if we would have predicted which startups would get the most attention.
But first, how do we make this list?
Our methodology is quite simple. From the 750 startups in France, we select 25 by combining 2 “impartial” and 2 “subjective” elements:
- Money: we look at the startups that have raised the more money in the past 24 months
- Hype: we add companies that have had a lot of press coverage about their activity in 2021
- Representativeness: our goal is to produce a mapping that a picture of the ecosystem it represents (a lot of French startups work around insects, hence we want to see that in the mapping)
- Potential: we use our discussions with entrepreneurs, investors and corporations to select the startups with the highest potential
In a word (and that is something very important for us), this “top 25” is subjective. It shows what we think is the best snapshot of the ecosystem and its highest potential companies.
What do we learn from this mapping?
A quick look at last year’s mapping of the French FoodTech top 25 will show you that:
- AgTech is still leading the French ecosystem as can be seen in DigitalFoodLab’s recent report on the investments. This year, we added even more companies working on insects for animal feed as they are taking a disproportionate (compared to other countries) share of the investments.
- Foodservice companies (with a B2B focus) are still hot. From last year’s mapping, Tiller has been acquired by SumUp.
- Our definition of FoodTech has slightly changed with a stronger focus on the supply chain (including packaging). We observe a surge in the number of companies working in this space, notably around data. From last year’s mapping, Alkemics has been acquired by Salsify.
- A growing number of companies are working on food products, in alternative proteins notably. Similarly, even if France’s startups are not among the biggest players, they are well represented in the grocery delivery boom that we have been observing recently. From last year’s mapping, Epicery has been acquired the French national postal service.
Beyond the three acquisitions (not too bad for a Top 25, isn’t it?), we have removed 11 startups that are either moving away from a focus on food (Swile) or are simply not anymore those with the highest potential.
If you have any questions or comments, let us know. Also, we are planning a lot of private talks and conferences with our clients to help them discover what is happening in the FoodTech ecosystem (broadly or on any specific topic). This is a first step to spread some knowledge about innovation internally and also a great way to start collaborating. If that could be relevant for you, contact us here!