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Food & Agriculture top picks: The quest for sustainable food chains

In the past two editions, the framework has identified the most promising startups in emerging industries, equipping innovators with the knowledge to identify the best companies before they reach product maturity.
For the 2024 cohort, we focus on identifying the top 20 startups in specific industries. The following is an excerpt of one report from a series of sector-specific reports covering Top Picks for 2024. It focuses on Food & Agriculture, exploring industries like Cell-cultured meat, Plant-based meat, Novel Foods, Smart Farming, Natural Fertilizers, Vertical Farming, and Plant-based Dairy & Egg.

Key takeaways

  • Novel food producers had a notable presence, with firms producing cocoa alternatives, such as Planet A Foods and Win-Win, being especially prominent due to substantial deforestation caused by cocoa cultivation. Additionally, other companies were focused on creating alternative animal feed derived from sources like methane (Unibio) as well as plant-based coffee substitutes that do not require coffee beans (Atomo Coffee).
  • The first cell-cultured meat approvals in the US reignited the sector. UPSIDE Foods was among the first to get the green light to market cell-cultured meat in the US. The company's response? Invest in a factory capable of producing millions of pounds of cell-cultured meat per year. A similar focus on building capacity and pursuing partnerships was a common trend among other cell-cultured meat players, such as Steakholder Foods and Aleph Farms, while they also worked to gain regulatory approval.
  • Supporting agriculture with smart farming was another recurring theme, with products such as high-precision sprayers (Ecorobotix), sensors for "data-driven" pollination (BeeHero), and laser-powered weed-killers (Carbon Robotics) emerging with the the common goal of improving crop yields.

SPEEDA Edge top picks for 2024

Top_Picks_F&A_Logo
Source: SPEEDA Edge

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