Startups were chosen for innovative offerings within three-industry validated focus areas
NEW YORK – October 25, 2022 – Today, FoodBytes!, Rabobank’s global food and ag innovation discovery hub, announced the 45 companies that were selected to participate in this year’s program. As a champion for cross-industry collaboration between the most promising startups, corporates and investors to drive greater sustainable solutions, FoodBytes! selected fifteen startups over three quarters based on different sector themes and criteria, including:
Meeting New Consumer Demand: responding to how the consumer of 2030 and beyond will shop for, eat and evaluate their food, such as: diversified ingredients, traceability, wearables and tracking, nutrition and immunity, and novel packaging.
New Modes of Production: developing technologies that optimize food production decisions and improve full value chains, such as: novel farming, hyper-localization, cell and fermentation tech, and farm biologics and inputs.
New Ways of Working: reimagining the role of the worker and conditions of the workplace by introducing new technologies that create more from less, such as: robotics and manufacturing automation, new food distribution, novel food processing, and upcycling.
“These startups are actively problem-solving for the highest priority challenges in the food and ag industry,” said Anne Greven, Global Head of F&A Innovation, Rabobank and FoodBytes! by Rabobank. “FoodBytes! remains the go-to community for those working to accelerate impact, and through our best-in-class network, we’ve brokered pivotal connections in real time. Heading into next year, we’ll continue to explore ways to expand our reach and scale actionable, sustainable solutions.”
Throughout the year, chosen startups participated in tailored programming that granted them access to industry insiders, invaluable mentorship, and relationship building with potential corporate partners and investors.
It is an ongoing priority for FoodBytes! to highlight a diverse mix of innovators; this year’s cohort of selected startups is a reflection of that commitment. Of those chosen, 29% are women led, 22% are BIPOC led, and 13% are LGBTQIA+ led. Additionally, the impressive grouping hails from sixteen countries across the globe, with over half representing advances in food technology, and with 49% already at the seed stage or beyond, generating more than $1M in yearly revenue (USD).
The 2022 FoodBytes! startups, by theme, are:
Meeting New Consumer Demand
- Diversified Ingredients: Cano-ela, Eighth Day Foods, Ergo Bioscience, Equii (previously Cella Farms), Grain4Grain, Ira Noah
- Nutrition & Immunity: Embion Technologies, Nulixir, Whole & Free Foods LLC (Every Body Eat®)
- Novel Packaging: ReStalk, SAVRpak
- Traceability: Farmstand, Improvin (previously Skira), Wholechain, Kafoodle
New Modes of Production
- Novel Farming & Farm Management: AgroScout, Blue White Robotics, Boomitra, Viridix
- Hyper-Localization: Pink Farms, Raiar Organicos
- Cell & Fermentation Technology: Allozymes, Celf Nutrition, Eclipse, Orbillion Bio, Phytolon, Resugar
- Farm Biologics & Inputs: Hypercell Technologies, Maua Mazuri, UV Boosting
New Ways of Working
- Robotics & Automation: Agot AI, Agree, AgXeed, Arugga AI Farming, CIED BV, Future Acres
- New Food Distribution: Big Wheelbarrow, Foodsys.io, Nat4Bio
- Novel Food Processing: Earthwise Global, Rebellyous Foods, True Essence Foods
- Upcycling: Kaffe Bueno, Superfrau, The Leaf Protein Co.
Throughout the platform’s existence, FoodBytes! has successfully propelled unique collaborations between startups and corporates. With the addition of this year’s cohort, FoodBytes! now has a total alumni network of 400+ startups who have raised a total of $3.2 billion in capital. From this year’s program alone, FoodBytes! has been able to establish hundreds of individual connections between the chosen startups and its members.
Monica Bhatia, Co-founder & CEO, Equii, said that “FoodBytes! was instrumental in helping us connect to a global network of food businesses all in one place.” She went on to share that “through the experience, we have built so many strong relationships with like-minded partners. FoodBytes! helped put us in a position to co-develop products with highly respected names in the packaged food industry, which can lead to other pivotal relationships for the brand in the future.”
Bruno Jactel, CEO and Founder at Hypercell Technologies, shared that with through their participation in FoodBytes!, “we’ve been able to dramatically accelerate our commercialization efforts with multiple Fortune 500 food companies, who we expect to partner with in 2023.”
Through the FoodBytes! program, Every Body Eat connected with a strategic investor that is providing technical assistance and capital, facilitating their move into a fully-automated production facility. “This enables us to profitably produce our allergen-free baked goods,” said Trish Thomas, Founder and CEO.
Qiaosong Zheng, CEO, Celf Nutrition, said that FoodBytes! was incredibly valuable. “We’re in active due diligence with a syndicate of leading food tech investors and were connected with two global CPG manufacturers seeking to fortify their products with protein and gut health.”
As FoodBytes! officially unveils these startups as the chosen few to the food and ag community at large, that platform’s corporate and investor members have already had the opportunity to connect with these innovative companies earlier in the year – putting them in a position to have first access in developing meaningful and impactful relationships. The 48 members who joined FoodBytes! this year include: AGCO, Albaugh, Aqua Capital, Astanor, Ball Corp, Barilla, BFG Partners, Bolthouse Farms, Brightseed, Campbell’s, Cavallo Ventures (Wilbur-Ellis), Chipotle (Cultivate Next), CHS, Cleveland Ave, Continental Grain Company, DLL, E2P, Fonterra, FTW, General Mills, Germin8 Ventures, Ginkgo Bioworks, Grupo Azucarero México (GAM), Grupo Bimbo, Hershey’s, Hormel Foods, InvestEco, iSelect Fund, JBT Corporation, Kainos, Lamb Weston, Mandi Ventures, MOFO, Next Gen Nutrition Investment Partners, Oceanspray, Paine Schwartz Partners, R.D. Offutt Company, RFAIF, Rich Products Corporation, S2G Ventures, Schreiber Foods, Seventure, Sonae, Supply Change Capital, Syngenta, Thai Wah, Twynam, and Venturance Alternative Assets.