FoodHack, the fast-growing foodtech community and newsletter, has raised $1m to develop and publicly launch HackVentures, its investment platform.
The Switzerland-based team plans to enable angel investors to write cheques from $1,000 up to around $100k into startups working on “better people and planetary health” across the world.
The idea is to create an investment platform like AngelList for the fast-growing world of food and climate tech startups.
“For startups, it's a question of investor quality: would they rather raise from a pool of 100 investors that have a deep understanding of their sector or 1,000 investors that are investing opportunistically in the next big thing?” says Arman Anatürk, FoodHack cofounder.
“While AngelList is a fantastic platform to help tech startups raise funding fast, we want to do the same but solely focused on investors and startups across the climate sector.”
Investment into foodtech and climatetech is only going in one direction. In 2021, VCs pumped $51.7bn into agrifoodtech startups around the world — an 85% increase on 2020 funding, according to Agfunder. In Europe, foodtech startups attracted €9.5bn in investment in 2021, a threefold increase on the previous year, while investors poured $10bn into startups in Europe tackling the climate crisis.
And it seems that the FoodHack team have well positioned themselves at the heart of early-stage foodtech innovation.
Beginning with meetups for foodtech founders and investors, and then a weekly email rounding up foodtech news, the FoodHack team has built up a strong — and global — network in the sector.
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And as the community grew, two things kept happening, according to FoodHack’s Notion page announcing the raise: investors (angels and VCs) came to them wanting access to dealflow and insights, and founders came to them wanting intros to investors and help with their round.
That led to them investing in startups, too.
So far, the investment platform has backed 15 startups with an early group of 100 users — including alt-honey startup MeliBio, alt-salmon startup Plantish and vegan pet food startup Omni — and coinvested alongside VCs like Astanor and FoodLabs. FoodHack also began a weekly investor-only dealflow email, which now has more than 1,000 readers and it says it has facilitated over 600 introductions between startups and investors.
That also helped FoodHack raise this round. There are 64 investors behind the $1m round, including VCs working at firms like FoodLabs, EQT Ventures and Revent, founders behind startups like Biomilq, Keen 4 Greens, Planetary, Ivy Farms and MeliBio, angel investors like Fredrik Jun Abbou of Kry, and others working at corporates like Mondelez and General Mills.
The team plans to develop and publicly launch its HackVentures investment platform to structure deals into foodtech startups. This would enable startups to do everything from open up funding rounds to a food and climatetech-focused bunch of investors, to receive those funds once the deal is closed and report back.
FoodHack already has an "ugly-beta" platform with 323 early users. It plans to launch a public version in the summer, and make “key technical and compliance hires” to run and scale it.
Around 30% of the startups that apply for funding get featured on the platform.
“Today we can only facilitate as many investments as our venture team can handle, but the ambition is to open the platform to start allowing users to lead their own syndicates, pooling together investments from fellow users and earning their upside along the way,” says Anatürk.
Longer term, the team hopes the infrastructure it’s building will enable investors to deploy $1bn into climate, health and food startups by 2027.