The Newcomers, The Investors, and The Sustainable Food Industry
In recent years, there has been an influx of venture capital firms investing in the food and ingredients industry. This is in response to the growing interest in healthy and sustainable food options, as well as the potential for high returns in this rapidly growing sector.
New venture capital firms investing in the food and ingredients industry are plentiful but taking an initial look at Acre Venture Partners and Cavu Ventures before we get into the new kids on the block. These firms are focused on investing in early-stage companies that are developing innovative and disruptive solutions in the food and ingredients space.
Acre Venture Partners is a California-based firm that was founded in 2015 by Lucas Mann (photo) and his two co-founders Jeffery Dunn and Gareth Asten. The firm invests primarily in companies that are working on new ways to grow, process, or distribute food. To date, Acre Venture Partners has invested in companies such as Back to the Roots, SuperGut and Meati - placing them as key players in the food and ingredients industry right now.
Cavu Ventures is a New York-based firm that was founded in 2015. The firm invests in companies that are developing new technologies to enable the food system to be more sustainable and efficient. Cavu Ventures has made some recent investments in companies such as Made by Nacho, Native Pet, Once Upon a Farm and WhistlePig - showing their interest in supporting a sustainable food ecosystem.
And whilst these companies could be considered as "newcomers" over the VCs that have been committed to the industry for decades and beyond, there are indeed some even newer firms now throwing their cash into the ring.
Supply Change Capital, founded in 2020. This firm has already found a number of seats through seed round investments into Hyfé, Agua Bonita, Aqua Cultured Foods and Ayo Foods.
Interestingly, the co-founders have a depth of combined experience in food & agriculture having worked with some of the world's largest companies, including Kraft Heinz, Land O'Lakes, General Mills, and PepsiCo.
It would appear that Food & Ag is no longer an industry to write off as "too risky" for impact investors, and we can only expect to see this trend continue as more
people become concerned about the sustainability of our food system.
Jove Island Capital is another food & agriculture focused venture firm headed up by Gregory Johnson and Marc Pinto (photo) - both having a wealth of experience that positions them as safe hands when it comes to managing investment portfolios.
Jove Island is interesting because it takes an accelerator-first approach to Food & Ag investing, which is relatively rare in the space. The firm plans to work closely with the portfolio companies to help them scale through its network of mentors, advisors, and industry experts. SUCDEN ventures is a venture arm of the French sugar beet cooperative, which has been around for over 100 years.
In 2021, they launched a Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund to invest in early and growth-stage companies.
So far, SUCDEN Ventures has recently placed cash inside Tropic Biosciences which produces commercial varieties of tropical crops intended to promote cultivation efficiencies and meet growing food demand. They also have secured an interest in Amai Proteins offering healthy sugar substitutes.
So there you have it! Some of the newer kids on the block when it comes to VC firms investing in Food & Ag. With big names behind them and lots of cash to splash, we can only expect big things from these companies in the years to come.
Meyrick Consulting has been working with VC and PE firms for many years - helping them build high-performing, successful executive leadership teams capable of driving maximum returns on their investments.
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