The 5 most prominent food and ag-tech investors in Israel…

GreenSoil Investments

Founded in 2011 by Gideon Soesman and Allen Greenberg, GreenSoil Investments was developed in order to provide food and ag-tech startups who are ready for the global market the opportunity to scale up and expand. As Soesman explains, “We are witnessing a massive investment in early stage food and agriculture startups in Israel, therefore we established GreenSoil Investments to help those companies achieve global reach.” With the understanding that there are tremendous opportunities in this sector, Greensoil Investments is interested in investing in companies that seek to add value to the food and agricultural chain. GreenSoil Investments is specifically scouting companies that have a product that creates more efficiency and flow across the food chain. Being one of the largest investors in Israeli food and ag-tech innovation, to date GreenSoil has invested in six thriving startups, including Tipa,  producers of fully compostable food packaging and Rootitly, a breeding company that focuses on the plant-organ responsible for supplying nutrients to the plant. When filtering through food and ag-tech startups, GreenSoil Investments looks for companies that have a consistent story that encompasses a scalable, problem solving technology, that is already generating revenues.

OurCrowd

Founded in 2013, by Jon Medved, founder of Israel Seed Partner and one of the most prolific entrepreneurs and investors in Israel, OurCrowd is a global equity crowdfunding platform, developed specifically for accredited investors. For their investment process, OurCrowd utilizes a team of seasoned investors to discover companies with market potential. Once they have narrowed potential companies, they invest their own capital and provide a platform for their community of over 20,000 investors to invest for equity. However, OurCrowd does not only raise funding, they provide post investment support and mentorship for each of their startups, and serve on the board of many of them. Although OurCrowd invests in a wide range of companies, in 2015 they launched a dedicated early-stage fund called OurCrowd First, that focuses primarily on seed-stage investments in technology companies. The fund invests in a range of technology sectors, but one of the fund’s investment focus is on food and agricultural startups that are ready to tackle the world’s enormous food waste and preservation quandary. Their current investments include Taranis, the first crop disease proliferation modeling technology for large-scale farmers, as well as FreshKeep, sensor driven consumer food containers aimed at reducing food waste in households. “When we look at potential companies to invest in, we are looking for companies that represent large opportunities in large markets; potential category leaders in their space powered by deep enabling technology.”


Technology isn’t always about reinventing the wheel. In fact, in many industries today, we are recognizing that breaking away from the rhythm of nature is destructive and causing substantial damage to our environment. For example, using fossil fuels, a process that converts coal and petroleum with heat to generate electric power, has resulted in prevalent amounts of greenhouse gas and carbon monoxide emissions into our atmosphere, while simultaneously eroding our land and polluting our water. We are seeing now that the practice of working against nature, has proved fruitless, and that working with the Earth’s own power sources is the key to sustainable growth and evolution. With this in mind, alternative energy sources using solar and wind energy, has become the solution to alleviate the environmental damage. 

Enhancing the resources in nature is also extending to the modern food and agricultural industry. In the past, the concentration of agricultural and food technology was on how to use synthetic solutions to beat nature, today companies are finding ways to use technology to enhance what nature has to offer. Here are three companies that exemplify this idea in a way that is changing our practices and fixing our food systems. 

Equinom

For as long back as agriculture goes, farmers have been cross breeding seeds to produce new varieties of fruits and vegetables that would contain the best features from each variety. However, until now, this practice has been based on observation with little or no data to guide it. In order to create a more efficient and effective seed breeding practice, Equinom  has found a method to collect essential farm data, process the data with proprietary algorithms, in order to produce new varieties of seeds with desirable traits. Their technology doesn’t rely on seed engineering like GMOs, because they only breed seeds with qualities that already exist in the environment.


What’s the difference between different insect proteins and which will be the most viable for consumers?

 

It used to be that animal protein was a luxury that we could afford ourselves occasionally, however in recent years, with the advent of industrial agriculture, eating animal protein has become the norm and consumption is dramatically increasing yearly. In America alone, people are eating 198 pounds of meat per person per year.

As these numbers grow, it seems unforeseeable that we will be able to depend on livestock alone to meet the market demand for protein. This means that we will have to be open to alternative sources of protein, and of those insects seem one of the most viable.

Although, still taboo in the western world, according to the FAO Edible Insects: Future Prospects and Feed Security , twenty percent of the world’s population is already consuming insects.


100+ startups disrupting the way we eat and drink

Article originally published by cbinsights.com

Excerpt: To illustrate the diversity of categories within food tech and call attention to some of its most prominent players, we created the Periodic Table of Food Tech. The table focuses on active food tech startups that have raised funding since 1/1/2013. While it can’t encapsulate every startup in the space, it highlights many of the most well-funded and high-momentum companies within each category. The table also shows most notable food tech exits and most active food tech investors.

The 119 companies and investors on the table were pulled from analysis using CB Insights data around funding, company momentum as captured by our predictive Mosaic algorithm tracking the health of private companies, and recent deals in the space.

Read the full article.


We may be heading toward a new food economy that’s more competitive and innovative

By Nanette Byrnes, MIT Technology Review

Excerpt: For years, the most important food technologies were all about scale. How could we feed a fast-growing population at less expense? By doing everything bigger: food grown on bigger farms was sold by ever-merging global food giants to grocery chains of superstore proportions.

Many of today’s food technologies seem to be moving in the opposite direction, toward methods and products that are economical for small farms as well as large corporate ones. This does not mean an end to big food: with the planet’s population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, agriculture and food production will still have to achieve a massive scale, with help from technology and innovative research. Still, evolving technologies, including inexpensive sensors, mobile devices, and data analysis, have helped an increasing variety of food companies, retailers, and producers lower their costs and compete in many specialty markets.

This could be the start of a new food economy.

Read the full article.


 

Planning to expand into a ‘vegan conglomerate’

Written by Carolyn Heneghan. Originally published by fooddive.com

Excerpt: Hampton Creek is attempting to raise about $200 million at a $1.1 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The company plans to use the funds to expand into what Bloomberg calls a “vegan conglomerate,” increasing its portfolio from 64 products today to more than 600 across a wide range of categories, according to a fundraising presentation obtained by Bloomberg. Part of those plans include a 95,000-square-foot R&D facility that will employ robotics and artificial intelligence to discover and develop new plant-based protein products, such as Just Oysters, Just Blue Cheese, and a line of kids’ snacks where an egg substitute in a microwavable pod could be cooked into different shapes, such as Batman, Darth Vader, or a toy car.

Read the full article.


People dining together

(Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Promising Israeli startup already in Foodlab Capital’s company portfolio

By Andrea Hayley / Epoch Times

Excerpt: The Israeli startup DouxMatok, which means double-sweet in Hebrew, has engineered a new form of the sugar that offers the same sugar experience in up to half the calories. It’s the same sugar, but it’s physically altered to maximally satiate our tongues, so we consume less and protect our health.

Read the full article.


Beyond Meat at the 2016 Natural Products Expo West trade show

Beyond Meat at the 2016 Natural Products Expo West trade show

Test Marketing Set to Begin

By Elaine Watson, foodnavigator-us.com

Excerpt: Beyond Meat – the California-based maker of plant-based “meat” – is preparing to test market what it claims is “the first plant-based burger that will be placed in the meat counter,” according to executive chairman Seth Goldman.

Read the full article.


Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison outside the company’s headquarters in New Jersey. | Image Credit: Associated Press

By Hannah Furlong / sustainablebrands.com

Excerpt: The Campbell Soup Company has announced that it is launching a $125 million venture capital (VC) fund to invest in food startups. The fund, under the banner Acre Venture Partners L.P., will be managed by unidentified outsiders independent of Campbell, although the food giant is its sole limited partner.

Read the full article.