Israeli food giant Tnuva launches food tech venture fund
Israeli food giant Tnuva has launched a new venture capital fund focused on investing in new startups and food tech companies, the company announced on Sunday.
Tnuva said the new fund, Tnuva NEXT, adds to the company’s overall 2021 investments in food tech companies, which totaled some NIS 30 million ($9.28 million) over the course of the year. year. The company said it plans to invest around the same amount in 2022.
The company currently operates the Fresh.Start incubator in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona with Israeli beverage company Tempo, Israel-based crowdfunding firm OurCrowd and French food and beverage investment firm Finistere. ‘Agriculture. The incubator opened in 2020 and is currently working with eight food tech startups, including one developing fish in cell culture and two working on sugar reduction technologies.
Tnuva said the incubator is expected to support around 40 startups over the next few years.
Tnuva President Haim Gavrieli said, “Food technology in general, and protein substitutes in particular, are the future and as a national food company, we take responsibility for the food safety of Israeli consumers. That’s why we invest in areas that will allow us to grow and provide consumers with beneficial nutritional solutions.
Founded in 1926, Tnuva is a major food company in Israel with around 15% of the food market share in Israel and around 50% of the dairy market share. The company also offers a range of non-dairy vegetable products such as milk, yoghurt drinks and cheeses, a range of frozen vegetables, Sunfrost, as well as a range of fresh and frozen meats, Adom Adom.
In 2014, the Chinese food multinational Bright Food bought the majority of Tnuva’s shares, making it a subsidiary.
Last month, Tnuva made its first foray into cultured meat, partnering with biotech firm Pluristem Therapeutics to launch a startup that will develop lab-grown beef.
Tnuva was also recently tapped to lead a cultured meat consortium set up by the Israel Innovation Authority.
Jacob Heen, deputy general manager and chief financial officer of Tnuva, told The Times of Israel in January that the food company’s entry into the cultured meat business, where Israel is currently a major player, was part of a “strategy that corresponds to the demands of food consumers.”
Heen will also lead Tnuva NEXT, alongside Shay Cohen, Tnuva’s chief innovation officer, who is responsible for leading local innovation and business development.
Tnuva NEXT is expected to approve 2-3 investments per year, some of which will be used to support incubator startups, or seed and Series A rounds in startups focused on cultured meat, alternative proteins, smart food processes and personalized nutritional solutions, said Gavrieli.
Tnuva has invested in Israeli cultured milk company Remilk, which recently raised $120 million in a round led by Hanaco Ventures, and sugar reduction company Blue Tree.
Tnuva’s CEO, Eyal Malis, said in a statement that “the creation of the fund is part of the group’s strategy to invest in companies in synergy with the main areas of Tnuva that will produce value while acquiring the rights production and marketing. We are also looking to invest in protein substitute companies overseas.
Israel is home to around 400 food tech startups and companies, according to the Israel Innovation Authority.
Food technology covers a very broad area that includes nutrition, packaging, food safety, processing systems, new ingredients and alternative proteins. The latter includes plant-based substitutes for meat, dairy and eggs, cultured dairy, meat and seafood, insect protein, and fermentation products and processes.