Consumer/Food/Analysis/ 20 European foodtech startups to know in 2020 Meet the European foodtech startups that topped a new ranking based on growth, sustainability and social media buzz. By Kim Darrah 5 February 2020 Agrilution's kitchen farming system. Agrilution's kitchen farming system. \Consumer Getir to lay off UK staff after Gorillas merger By Miriam Partington and Freya Pratty 13 February 2023 Consumer/Food/Analysis/ 20 European foodtech startups to know in 2020 Meet the European foodtech startups that topped a new ranking based on growth, sustainability and social media buzz. By Kim Darrah 5 February 2020 From lab-grown cheese to 3D-printed steaks, startups want to change everything you thought you knew about food and how it finds its way to your plate. Now more than ever, investors are buying into their ideas. Over the past five years the amount of money flowing into European food startups has tripled, jumping from €538m in 2014 to €1.6bn in 2019, according to data platform Forward Fooding. To see where the sector is headed, Forward Fooding has released a ranking of food tech startups across the world, assessing them according to their environmental credentials, online footprint and business growth. Every startup was given a score out of 100 for each category, which were then combined to come up with the final rankings. Environmental scores were calculated using data from a questionnaire filled out by startups about their manufacturing processes, product, company policy and revenue. Each startup’s online footprint score was based on a mix of metrics including search engine rank, web traffic and follower counts, while their business growth score was based on various financial performance indicators alongside employee count. A total of 1,200 food tech startups from across the world applied to take part in the ranking. We broke down the list to find only those based in Europe and compiled the top 20 startups according to their scores. To see more about how the ranking was compiled see Forward Fooding’s white paper. 1) Agrivi Founded by Matija Zulj in 2013, Agrivi provides the software needed to make a digital control room for a farm. Its tool provide farmers with real-time insight into the progress of crops, with features like alerts for bad weather and possible crop disease. Thousands of farmers in over 150 countries have already used the platform, according to Zulj. Country: Croatia Funding: €1.3m Sustainability score: 85/100 Online footprint score: 80/100 Business growth score: 80/100 2) JIMINI’s Founded in 2012, Jimini’s is on a mission to introduce edible-insects to European cuisine, inspired by their relatively low carbon footprint compared to other proteins. The startup has its own range of insect-based products for sale online, including protein bars, granola and pasta. Country: France Funding: €1m Sustainability score: 75/100 Online footprint score: 90/100 Business growth score: 80/100 3) Notpla Notpla ketchups. Notpla is trying to reinvent packaging with its edible seaweed-based sachets, which can be used to replace plastic for drinks and condiments. All you have to do is bite a hole in the outer membrane and drink (or squeeze) away. They’re perhaps best known for supplying marathon runners with sachets of gooey refreshments. Country: UK Funding: €1m Sustainability score: 75/100 Online footprint score: 90/100 Business growth score: 80/100 4) Agrilution Agrilution’s kitchen farming system, the “Plantcube” Forget farm-to-table, Agrilution wants you to grow your food inside your own kitchen in one of their neat little fitted farm-cupboards. The startup’s main product is its “Plantcube” (pictured above), which is about the size of a small fridge and costs €2,979. Country: Germany Funding: €4.6m Sustainability score: 85/100 Online footprint score: 79/100 Business growth score: 80/100 5) Growing Underground Growing Underground farmers Richard Ballard and Steven Dring Located in former air raid shelters over 30m below London, this vertical farming startup uses the latest hydroponic systems to make crops all year round. It sells them in supermarkets across London including M&S and Waitrose. Country: UK Funding: None disclosed. Sustainability score: 75/100 Online footprint score: 87/100 Business growth score: 80/100 6) Naïo Technologies Naïo Technologies’ farmbot Founded in 2011, Naïo Technologies makes robots for farmers. It sells several bots including a weeding bot (pictured above), a vineyard bot and a vegetable bot (otherwise known as “Oz”, “Ted” and “Dino”) that are specifically designed to increase productivity while respecting the environment. In January they closed a €14m funding round to prepare their bots for mass production. Country: France Funding: €19.9m Sustainability score: 70/100 Online footprint score: 86/100 Business growth score: 83/100 7)Agricool Agricool’s farm Founded by Guillaume Fourdinier and Gonzague Gru (who both grew up in farming families), Agricool grows fruit and vegetables in its mini-farms located in cities. Its vertical farms are made out of shipping containers and are designed to reduce the distance that food has to travel to get to city dwellers. Country: France Funding: €37.4m Sustainability score: 65/100 Online footprint score: 87/100 Business growth score: 85/100 8) Farmy Farmy van. Source: Twitter. Farmy is an online market for fresh groceries using electric vehicles for delivery. Founded in 2014, the startup now employs 82 people in Zurich and Lausanne. It stocks over 8,000 products. Country: Switzerland Sustainability score: 65/100 Online footprint score: 88/100 Business growth score: 83/100 9) Gold&Green Foods Ltd. Gold&Green Foods Ltd. has developed a patented plant-based protein called “pulled oats”, which can be used as a meat-replacement. In 2016 Finish food and drink company Paulig Group acquired a 51% stake in the startup. Its products are found in supermarkets across Finland and Sweden. Country: Finland Sustainability score: 80/100 Online footprint score: 72/100 Business growth score: 83/100 10) Oddbox An Oddbox delivery. Oddbox “rescues” seasonal surplus fruit and vegetables which are at risk of becoming food waste and sells them as eco-friendly subscription boxes. Country: UK Funding: €640k Sustainability score: 65/100 Online footprint score: 90/100 Business growth score: 80/100 11) OLIO The OLIO app in action. Cofounded by Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, OLIO is a food sharing app that links people and businesses up to share their surplus food. It has partnered with 270 UK businesses who share approximately 70,000 meals per month via the platform. Country: UK Funding: €7.5m Sustainability score: 50/100 Online footprint score: 100/100 Business growth score: 81/100 12) 3D By Flow A creation by one of 3D By Flow’s 3D printers 3D By Flow sells 3D printers for food — targeting the restaurant industry. Its signature 3D-printer costs €3,900 and requires no technical background. Users can fill and charge its cartridges with their own ingredients, or they can use one of the startup’s recommended filler recipes. Country: Netherlands Funding: €30k Sustainability score: 50/100 Online footprint score: 100/100 Business growth score: 80/100 13) PIELERS PIELERS is an online food site that lets you order directly from the producer, artisan or farmer and receive your order free of shipping costs, delivered directly to your home. Country: Germany Sustainability score: 80/100 Online footprint score: 70/100 Business growth score: 80/100 14) Natural Machines Natural machines’ 3D-printer. Natural Machines has designed a 3D printer for food called “Foodini”, costing $4,000. By squeezing food out in layers through a nozzle it can create “designer” food that its users can either design themselves or choose from a list of premade designs. It is currently used by restaurants, food service providers, food manufacturers and research institutes. Country: Spain Funding: €3m Sustainability score: 60/100 Online footprint score: 89/100 Business growth score: 80/100 15) Sencrop Sencrop weather gauge. Source: Youtube. Sencrop makes rain gauges, anemometers and leaf wetness sensors so that farmers can track the conditions of their plots. The data can be viewed in real time via app. The hope is to help farmers achieve more precise, efficient and eco-friendly agriculture, while freeing them up so they don’t always have to be on site. Country: France Funding: €10.5m Sustainability score: 75/100 Online footprint score: 73/100 Business growth score: 81/100 16) Emerge Emerge’s home page. Founded by Giorgio Bertolini, Lorenzo Di Brino and Tommaso Spreafico, Emerge links up Italian food producers with buyers round the world, giving them a space to digitally showcase their goods. It’s free for producers, but they can choose to upgrade to “Emerge Premium” for greater visibility. Country: Italy Sustainability score: 55/100 Online footprint score: 96/100 Business growth score: 77/100 17) Foodpairing Chocolate, fish, cheese and cinnamon. Source: Foodpairing’s website. Foodpairing has developed software to help chefs, barristers and other food-makers discover tasty new ingredient matches. By calculating the aroma profile of ingredients and applying machine learning algorithms, the startup says its technique can reveal new and unexpected ingredient pairings — based entirely on science. Its “FoodPairing Inspire Tool” lets users play around with different combinations, featuring 1,500 ingredients, and is free to use online for the first 50 turns. Country: Belgium Funding: None disclosed Sustainability score: 55/100 Online footprint score: 96/100 Business growth score: 80/100 18) THE VURGER CO. Two of the Vurger Co’s creations: The “Auburger” and the “Big Mex”. Tapping into the vegan burger trend is London-based startup The Vurger Co., which has created a vegan menu of classic burgers. From humble beginnings as a food stall, it’s now created a buzzy brand and runs restaurant from Shoreditch. Country: UK Funding: €360k Sustainability score: 80/100 Online footprint score: 66/100 Business growth score: 80/100 19) ResQ club ResQ Club’s app. The ResQ app gives customers a 50% discount from restaurants with surplus food. The idea is to rescue meals before they go in the bin. In turn, participating restaurants get an extra revenue stream and new customers. It’s currently operational in cities across Finland and Sweden, as well as in Berlin and Warsaw. Country: Finland Funding: €400k Sustainability score: 55/100 Online footprint score: 90/100 Business growth score: 80/100 20) Kitro Kitro’s bin device. Source: Youtube video by Kitro. Kitro is on a mission to reduce food waste in restaurants. The startup has built a device designed to fit around a bin that times, weighs and takes photos of everything that goes in. This data is then processed with deep learning algorithms and presented on a dashboard, giving restaurants tips on how to increase efficiency. The startup says its system can reduce avoidable food waste by up to 60%. Country: Switzerland Funding: €40k Sustainability score: 60/100 Online footprint score: 87/100 Business growth score: 77/100 Related Articles The startups making vegan cheese taste like the real thing By Kim Darrah Click here to read more 3D-printed steaks are starting to actually look like meat By Kim Darrah Click here to read more Bug bites: Are insects the new sushi? By Maija Palmer Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?