Camille KRIEBITZSCH, investment director and co-founder of Eutopia, a sponsor of our last report on the State of Europe’s FoodTech, answers some questions that many entrepreneurs ask on what a fund with a specific interest for food brands is looking after.
Eutopia is a European VC fund specialised in consumer startups. Eutopia bases its investment thesis on the transformations of the consumer society which have brought out a new wave of brands that reinvent and improve our daily lives.
Which FoodTech categories do you follow?
With Eutopia, when looking at FoodTech, we focus on foodscience and retail. In Foodscience, we have the conviction that the consumer society as we know it is nearing the end of a cycle. Environmental issues and the rising demand for products that are more local, less processed and better for your health will accelerate this transformation. Animal protein alternatives (from plant-based replicates to lab-grown meat) have a huge potential here. These new products answer a surge in demand for foods that are both more healthy and more respectful of the environment.
Retail is yet mostly ignored by investors. It should be very dynamic in the incoming years. “E-grocery” models, which were already successful, have been reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis. Many consumers are now convinced by how convenient grocery delivery can be. New models are emerging, notably around shortening the supply chain, reducing waste and improving the customer experience through personalisation.
What do you look for in a food startup?
As for any investment, our first bet is on the people behind it. We look for committed and highly ambitious teams which have values aligned with their projects. As food is a highly competitive ecosystem, we also look for projects:
- operating in growing markets where new players can become leaders.
- providing high value to their market through by mastering their distribution, production or sourcing.
- with a brand with strong potential proven by sale.
Finally, we invest in projects which are “good for you, for the society and the planet”.
Why focusing on brands?
We have the conviction that consumers are waiting for more: more values, more transparency, more authenticity and a stronger link to the product they buy. Moreover, the digital revolution (and social media in particular) has completely changed the consumers’ attitude toward brand communication and distribution. New players are both more legitimate and more agile to answer these challenges. That’s why we bet on this new generation of entrepreneurs aiming to shake up things.