The Investors, and The... Well, Just The Investors
In this monthly newsletter, we’ll be covering everything food, ingredients and beverages – from new product launches, leadership movements, the investments being made and secured by the exciting and fast-growing. If it involves the food industry we’ll be talking about it.
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For weeks now we’ve been talking about how those exciting new companies in the food, ingredients and beverages industry have started on their journey to global domination yet none of this is possible without the VC and PE firms that are backing them.
You can’t take over the world on a shilling!
Although many have tried.
There’s a lot of exciting new technology driving the food and ingredients industry, consumers are much more open to including new brands within their lifestyles and the eclectic pallets of Gen-Z are proving to be a breeding ground of prosperity for brands introducing new flavours and fragrances into the market.
Yet, I feel there is much less appraisal of the investors that are enabling these spaces to grow and companies to flourish.
So, I’m going to start by talking about one of the VCs in the food space that has been relatively quiet over the last 12-months with only three new investments to speak of.
AF Ventures. Now, this venture capital firm based in New York is boasting over 40 active investments with plenty of Dry Powder waiting for the right companies. Jordan Gaspar heads up the firm as Co-Founder, Managing Partner and President leading 25 of the deals to date.
Jordan and his team have been funding the growth of organisations since 2013 – seeing a lot of success since then through 17 exits including California-based Harmless Harvest.
AF Ventures, having gotten involved in a £21million Series-E and later bought out by Danone Manifesto Ventures 3-years later shows that their appetite for the food, ingredients and beverages industry is at the very front of their agenda yet, only a handful of investments happening over the last 12-months - one to keep an eye on for sure.
My next top pick needs no introduction. If you’re in the food, ingredients and beverages industry it would be hard to ignore the rumblings and press releases of Big Idea Ventures and the all-star leader Andrew Ive!
Andrew has led 38 of the firms' 93 investments with 2021 seeing 47 of that total, 83 being in consumer products and services. This venture capital firm is playing all over the world with investments not just in the US and Europe but many in Asia and the Middle East.
There really are no boundaries for this big player.
Notable current investments include Texas-based Gathered Foods specialising in plant-based seafood, SIMULATE being a producer of vegan chicken nuggets and Wild Earth as a champion of sustainable pet foods using “clean” proteins. Too many really to mention here.
Big Idea Ventures is funding innovation that is saving our planet from destruction, they are placing their bets into early-stage and seed funding whilst managing a single late-stage fund which will assist in the next-gen transformation of organisations.
And finally, it would be rude not to mention Kale United, with a team of 13 highly-talented Scandinavians, Anders Nilback serves as CEO and Måns Ullerstam as Founder. This company was one of the few that saw the potential in Impossible Foods albeit later than some. Kale United was invited into the mixing pot by Mirae Asset Global Investments on the 12th round of funding which saw 13+ investors now taking a 65% stake in the company with $500 million Series-H when the company was valued at sub-£5 Billion (pre-money). Dr. Partrick Brown of Impossible Foods and his team of nearly 900 is now flexing a £5 Billion company in California which was founded in 2011 with an attempted buyout by Google in 2015 for a little under £200 Million.
Sorry, I couldn’t help but mention the company!
But, back to investors…
Kale United is another great VC firm that is funding the dreams and aspirations of founders in the food, ingredients and beverages space.
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Placing Top Leaders Within The Global Food, Ingredients and Beverages Industry