Investment in Spanish Foodtech reaches 268 million euros in 2022

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Investment in Spanish Foodtech reaches 268 million euros in 2022

Eatable Adventuresone of the main global accelerators has today presented the data of its annual study “The State of Foodtech in Spain 2022”. A report that, once again, takes the pulse of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our country to collect key information on the characterization of the Foodtech sector, as well as on the evolution of investment compared to previous years.

In general terms, we are facing a very positive year for the sector. Despite the macroeconomic context and global pressures that have a significant impact on the agri-food system, the sector has received confidence, not only from investors, but also from companies and governments, which have taken a much more active role in the growth of our ecosystem. In this sense, the commitment of the industry to seek externally solutions to its industrial challenges and new opportunities in the market stands out, through collaboration models with startups based on open innovation.

Thanks to this, in 2022 we are facing a more mature market with more solvent technologies and intellectual properties that have aroused the interest of the international community. “Spain is consolidating its position as a Foodtech Nation with a flourishing ecosystem and great technological and intellectual solvency. Technologies offer us an excellent opportunity to build the food system of the future: more efficient, sustainable and that guarantees food security for all.” has commented Mila Valcárcel, Managing Partner of Eatable Adventures.

2022, greater technological solvency and great growth in terms of employment

In 2022, Spain remains in the global top 10 in terms of the number of Foodtech startups, whose latest census, according to the report, adds a total of 412 startups. At the regional level, Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia lead the ranking of communities which concentrate a greater number of startups, with 27.6%, 25.7% and 11.8%, respectively.

Regarding the teams, curiously, the age of entrepreneurship in our country is quite late, standing at 37.5 the average age of entrepreneurs. Noteworthy this year is the increase in women’s quota with 24.23% of partner teams made up of women, 4 points above last year.

This sector is increasingly emerging as a source of qualified employment, experiencing growth close to 26% during 2022 and with a total of 6,300 employees.

Regarding the key areas of the Foodtech sector, for yet another year, 4 large categories that are fairly balanced among them are identified: Agritech (24%); Production and transformation of food (34%); Logistics, Distribution and Retail (25%); and Restaurant Tech (16%). If we go deeper into each of the subcategories of these areas, the ones that lead the global ranking are the “direct to consumer” models (21.12%), product innovation (15%) and the digitization of the field (14%). .

As previously mentioned, we note a greater maturity in the technological solvency of startups and in the management of their intellectual property. The percentage of startups that decide is growing patent their solutions or generate utility models. 32.9% of startups have patents, 56.6% have a trademark registration and 29% have trade secrets.

Speaking of technologies, the so-called “Deep Tech” continue to lead the technological transformation of the industry, although some important variations can be seen compared to the previous year: artificial intelligence increased by more than 12 points, as well as machine learning and IOT, with an increase of 8.5 and 9.6 points, respectively. Biotechnology continues to lead the ranking of the technologies used, although it decreases slightly compared to the previous year.

A sustained investment and an increase in larger rounds

2021 was undoubtedly the year of inflection for the sector, with overwhelming investment data (695 million euros) and growth of 220% compared to the previous year. However, we must take into account that Glovo was the protagonist, throughout that year, of an investment round of 450 million euros, hence the called the “Glovo effect” and its impact on the total investment figure.

This year, the total investment figure stands at €268 million, a very positive result that places investment growth at 9.38% compared to the previous year, if we discount the investment round achieved by the Catalan startup. In addition, it highlights the increase in series A rounds, which grow close to 20%, 5 points more than in 2021. The largest investments have been in startups that work in restaurants/retail, as had been the case before, but the irruption of the protein alternative stands out as a great recipient of capital from investment. The top 5 startups that lead this ranking are Cover Manager (€52M), Heura (€20M), Good News (€11M), Nova Meat (€6M) and Cubiq (€6M).

Lastly, with respect to the keys to growth, startups highlight in first place the determining role of international investors (88.06%), collaboration with research centers (63.64%) and the food industry. However, there is a certain cooling in the perception of support from local investors (43.28%), Spanish universities (43.28%) and public aid to the sector (29.86%). Internationalization undoubtedly has a key role as the main tool to boost the growth of startups.

Spain Foodtech, an initiative to grow and position ourselves as Foodtech Nation

Likewise, in order to continue promoting and accelerating the Spanish Foodtech ecosystem, Eatable Adventures has announced today the opening of the new call for the acceleration program Spain Foodtech Startups’ Program.

It is a “Country” program led by Eatable Adventures, in collaboration with ICEX Spain Export and investments and CNTA (National Center for Technology and Food Safety) and supported by multiple agents of the food ecosystem, which has The objective is to support the construction and development of solid Spanish startups in the field of foodtech, capable of competing on a global scale and becoming a benchmark in the sector, positioning Spain as the technological leader in this field.

In the previous edition, the program selected four startups that have multiplied their market value by six and managed to capture the interest of investors and corporate partners, positioning themselves as leaders in their respective segments: Moa Foodtech, Cocuus, Innomy, Proppos and H2hydroponics .

This year, the program incorporates as partners the large companies in the food industry that are promoting open innovation in the agri-food sector: mahou san miguela leading company in the beer sector, has launched, throughout this year, its open innovation platform BarLab Ventures, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurial projects that boost the sector; team alliancea business group of Colombian origin, an expert in lipids and fats and a leader in the food sector, has just presented its open innovation platform in collaboration with its venture capitalist albora®through which it will channel different innovation challenges to find new market opportunities; pascual innovations, the branch of Pascual dedicated to Corporate Venturing, has recently presented the second edition of Mylkcubator, the first incubator in the world specialized in the development of innovation projects for the dairy sector; and finally Sigma, the multinational owner of Campofrío has recently completed the third call for its innovation program Tastech in which four Spanish startups have been selected.

“As we have seen in the report, the weight of foreign investment has been decisive this year for the growth of our Foodtech ecosystem. Proof of this are the investment rounds received by two of the startups in our Spain Foodtech Startup’s Program acceleration program: Moa Foodtech, Cocuus and Innomy. We are looking for a new generation of entrepreneurs whose proposals have great potential to impact the agri-food value chain.”has commented José Luis Cabañero, CEO and founder of Eatable Adventures.

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