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.

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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

Agrivi's dashboard

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

JEMINI'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
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
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

Richard Ballard and Steven Dring picture
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
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
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

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
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

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

Foodini 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
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
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

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.

The Vurger company
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
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.
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

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Andrew
Andrew

Soul-k is missing, its from Italy and already rised 4.6milion

Andy Baggott
Andy Baggott

I’d also like to drop a mention for Kafoodle who are doing great things in the fields of nutritional and allergen complience (amongst other things) in health care, education, contract catering and high street sectors.

Marc
Marc

Foodtech 2ndKitchen would also be good to add

Elena Leeming
Elena Leeming

and AirCook for You should have been mentioned too 😉