In its recent quarterly report (Q2 2022) on the foodtech sector, PitchBook identified SOSV as the most active VC investor in foodtech this year, citing scores of successful startups in SOSV and IndieBio’s portfolio.
While the foodtech industry boomed amid the COVID-19 pandemic—especially e-commerce businesses that provided safe grocery and meal access—recent price inflation for food may help or hurt companies depending on business model. PitchBook revealed that companies encountering investor success amid such inflation include those with vertically-integrated models that minimize fees, food delivery services that cut down on consumer fuel costs, and online grocery services that allow consumers to carefully budget a grocery purchase ahead of time.
PitchBook compiled a market map in which analysts call out a number of foodtech startups that have received venture capital or other substantial private investments, including UPSIDE Foods, Endless West, Voyage Foods, California Cultured, Dastgyr, Geltor, Perfect Day, The EVERY Company, Joywell Foods, and NotCo, among others. In particular, PitchBook called out cultivated meat provider UPSIDE Foods as having closed one of the most notable megadeals in Q2.
PitchBook’s company highlight on UPSIDE cited the company’s numerous wins in the past year: its new 53,000-square-foot R&D and production facility, its lineup of restaurant partnerships, its acquisition of cultivated seafood provider Cultured Decadence, and its breakthrough development of FBS-free growth media. The analysts also spotlighted molecular foods developer Voyage Foods for snatching up one of the largest VC deals, raising a $36M series A at a $60M pre-money valuation in a round headed by UBS O’Connor and Level One Fund.
One foodtech opportunity gaining interest among investors is the molecular food and beverage market, which is also the sweet spot for SOSV’s IndieBio. These startups can create ingredients that sustain the environment and sidestep supply issues affected by climate change challenges, among other benefits.
Pitchbook pointed to IndieBio’s Voyage Foods as a leader in molecular foodtech with its peanut-free spread that allows those with peanut allergies to enjoy the taste and consistency of peanuts without a reaction. Pitchbook also nodded to another IndieBio company, molecular spirits developer Endless West, as one startup bypassing the time and cost challenges of aging spirits in barrels by using spectrometry and analytic chemistry to recreate the attributes of premium spirits. Endless West ranked number one in Pitchbook’s list of key VC-backed molecular food companies at over $100M raised to date and Voyage Foods at number three with $41M. IndieBio’s cell-based chocolate developer California Cultured also made the list at half a million raised to date.
Check out the full report below to see more up-and-comers from SOSV’s portfolio and learn about the trajectory of foodtech.