European FoodTech now has 13 unicorns and continues to grow


13 is the number of FoodTech unicorns listed in Europe. DigitalFoodLab presented its annual report, the fifth of its kind, on European FoodTech on 29 March. This inventory was made in collaboration with Pinduoduo and Nestlé. It is witness to the evolution of this exponentially growing market and its very good health. Europe now represents 18% of the global FoodTech ecosystem, up 6 points from 2020. FoodTech, supplier of unicorns The sector is doing well. In total, there are 3,540 start-ups on the list and 48% of them have raised funds since launch. Proof of the dynamism and attractiveness of Food tech, the number of investments of more than one million euros increased by 59% in 2021, while from 2019 to 2020 this figure was rather constant. Since 2017, the number of active startups has also grown by 8% every year on average. In the same category, Worldline and Amazon chose to test the digital euro Equally as many figures that illustrate the growth of the sector as well as two initial public offerings, those of Oatly and Deliveroo. Added to all this are the 7 European start-ups that achieved unicorn status in 2021, such as Gorillas, Swile and Flink. The total number of FoodTech unicorns, these young companies that exceed a billion in value, now stands at 13, a number that has therefore doubled in a year. The number of FoodTech unicorns in the world has increased considerably to 55. Europe is just behind the United States, which has 19. This trend should continue according to DigitalFoodLab. Experts have identified 10 to 20 startups that can become unicorns in the next two years, like Ynsect. Delivery accounts for 67% of the money raised at FoodTech. It is also worth noting that €9.5 billion was injected into European FoodTech start-ups in 2021, i.e. three times more than in 2020. In this market, six sectors are identified by the authors of the report: agricultural technology, supply chain, food services, food science, delivery and consumer technology. One of them stands out, however: food and grocery delivery, which only accounts for 67% of the money collected at FoodTech. A sector that has undoubtedly benefited from the pandemic and the various restrictions. Delivery has seen a new investment boom and is well ahead of other FoodTech sectors. Image: DigitalFoodLab. Linked to delivery, fast commerce, ultra-fast grocery delivery, has welcomed many promising newcomers. The best example is undoubtedly the German start-up Gorillas and its billion dollars raised, although it was only created in 2020. The report also focuses on food alternatives and new products, which attract more and more investors. Another sign of the good health of FoodTech, the money being injected into urban farms is increasing, while this field did not exist a few years ago. Highlights France, Germany at the forefront of investments While delivery predominates in the United Kingdom and Germany, this is not the case in France. France stands out in a specific sector: Agritech. This sector is attractive, especially in terms of research on the use of insects in animal feed, where three leaders are French. The study highlights in particular the fundraising of Cajoo and La Belle Vie in the delivery sector, of 40 and 25 million euros respectively. At the global level of FoodTech, the European part represents 20% of the fundraising. In the old continent, the distribution of investments is uneven. 62% of the investments made are in Germany, France, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands. Specifically, Germany is far ahead with 31% of investments, followed by the United Kingdom with 12%, France with 10% and finally the Netherlands with 9%. On a smaller scale, only about ten cities appear to be particularly attractive to this market. Only Berlin, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Dublin, Barcelona, ​​Stockholm, Copenhagen and Tallinn attract 75% of investments. If the FoodTech players can smile, it’s not all positive. Sectors such as agricultural robotics attract few investors. It is also important to note that while the number of unicorns may seem large, FoodTech only represents 6% of all unicorns worldwide.
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