Israel is known as many things, the Holy Land, the Promised Land, the Startup Nation, and now the Foodtech Nation. The country’s prowess as the Startup Nation is clearly known, with Israel’s legacy of agriculture and “making the deserts bloom”. In her early years Israel used developing technology during the country’s decade of economic growth thanks in part to the original startup, the kibbutz movement, and things have come full circle. Parlaying current advances in technology, the global need to solve pressing issues such as global warming (ex., there is a direct link to beef production and generation of greenhouse gases), and Israeli entrepreneurs’ can-do spirit the country is positioning itself as the Foodtech Nation. The Clearview Partners team will cover some of the recent trends in this red-hot industry, which are not just an investment opportunity but a movement that is looking to better the world.
While there is a difference between foodtech and agri-tech, for the sake of this article we’ll consider them as one. Many of the investors in the space invest in both, and ultimately agri-tech products are consumed as food. When it comes to investing in foodtech in Israel we could divide this into 3 categories, local VCs who are part of the ecosystem, corporate VCs who are entering the scene, and several accelerator/scouting operations.
There has been a lot of buzz around the recent foodtech center that is being built in Kiryat Shmona, Israel’s northern most tip. As reported in Globes, with a collaboration with the government’s Innovation Authority, as well as a number of organizations “a consortium comprising US-based international agri-food investor Finistere Ventures, Israel-based global investment platform, OurCrowd, Israel's largest food manufacturer Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. and Israeli drinks company Tempo Beverages will invest up to $100m in Israeli agri-food startups.” Two notable mentions are the Kitchen and JVP, both of whom have been active in the foodtech scene in Israel. JVP Chairman Erel Margalit has been one of the most vocal proponents in helping spread the idea of Israel as a center for food innovation.
The trends/the needs
As this NoCamels article states “as of the first quarter of 2018, there are 311 foodtech companies, a majority of them – 247 – established less than a decade ago, according to the report published in the September 2018 issue of IVC Magazine.” There are several trends which Israeli entrepreneurs are focusing on, and after Impossible Food’s recent IPO many of them see solving these global challenges can lucrative as well. Foodtech is a broad vertical; alternative protein (one of the most pressing challenges is feeding the world’s hungry) with Israeli startups such as InnvoPro converting chickpeas (i.e. hummus) into protein powder.
See Tree is an example of Israeli entrepreneurs parlaying knowledge they learned in the IDF to help farmers grow better crops; “the end-to-end service provides growers with intelligence on individual trees and tree clusters from the air, ground, and underground. Data extraction is performed using high-resolution, multi-dimensional sensing imagery obtained from drones, paired with ground sensors and rangers with boots-on-the-ground who acquire samples for further analysis.”
How Clearview Partners can help
We’re proud to announce we’ve launched scouting services focused on sourcing Israeli startups in this space. We’ve brought on board an expert in this space who will assist in sourcing and analyzing local food tech deals, particularly with a focus on technologies which are scalable globally. We have experience working with corporates wishing to open offices in Israel and are parlaying our experience and a deep understanding of the ecosystem in order to present high quality opportunities for those looking to invest in the Foodtech Nation.
With a global population surpassing 7 billion people the world needs innovation from the Foodtech Nation. Ecological changes in the world includes food scarcity; in this way Israel’s expertise in this area is as important as cybersecurity. We’re particularly excited about this vertical as it’s not just an area ripe for investment opportunity, it also showcases the best of the Startup Nation.