VCs have not slowed down their funding to food technology companies, even after more than $1B in investments and 200% year-over-year growth in 2014.
The food tech category covers companies across a range of food-related industries, including food delivery (companies like Instacart or Postmates), food replacements (Hampton Creek Foods, Soylent), and restaurant tech (E La Carte, Reserve), among others.
US-based, VC-backed food tech companies pulled in over $750M in equity funding in the first half of 2015. Specifically, Q2’15 reached a 10-quarter high in funding, with $549M raised across 20 deals, including large rounds to Blue Apron ($135M Series D), Munchery ($85M Series C), and Postmates ($80M Series D).
While the bulk of the funding has gone to mid- and late-stage companies, multiple early-stage companies have also been funded in 2014 and 2015 year-to-date.
With this in mind, we used CB Insights Company Mosaic to track the US-based early-stage companies with the most momentum.
CB Insights algorithmically assesses the health of private companies and gives them a Mosaic score, which has several components, including a Momentum score. Momentum measures a company’s traction, based on factors including web traffic, social mentions, and hiring pace.
No food tech company had a higher Momentum score than Favor, at 820. Favor is an Austin-based delivery platform (similar to Postmates) with a sizeable portion of their business focused on food delivery. The company recently raised $13M in Series A financing from S3 Ventures and Silverton Partners, among others. Favor’s overall Mosaic score, 880, also ranks them among the top 5% of all private tech companies.
Drizly, a developer of an alcohol delivery application, ranked second with a 770 momentum score. The company most recently raised $13M in Series A financing from First Beverage Group, Polaris Partners, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Drizly has seen growth across news mentions, social media, as well as job listings.
Home Chef — a Blue Apron and Plated competitor — ranked third with a 670 momentum score. The company has seen steady growth in web traffic as well as job listings in recent months.
|Company||Total Funding ($M)||Momentum||Overall Mosaic||Select Investors|
|Favor||$15.1||820||880||S3 Ventures, Silverton Partners, Tim Draper|
|Drizly||$17.8||770||870||Abundance Partners, Atlas Venture, Fairhaven Capital, Polaris Partners, Vayner RSE|
|Home Chef||N/A||670||660||Guild Capital|
|Bento||$1.9||610||750||500 Startups, FundersClub, Launch Fund, Slow Ventures|
|Maple||$26.0||610||810||Bessemer Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners, Thrive Capital, Trisiras Group|
|Gobble||$1.2||610||700||Felicis Ventures, Founder Collective, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, Thrive Capital, Y Combinator|
|TouchBistro||$12.0||580||770||Difference Capital Financial, Relay Ventures,Walden Venture Capital|
|Club W||$12.7||540||750||500 Startups, Amplify L.A., Bessemer Venture Partners, CrossCut Ventures, Guild Capital|
|Feastly||$1.32||540||690||Boost.vc, Westly Group|
The most active VC in US-based food tech companies since 2013 on a unique company basis has been Khosla Ventures. Khosla has invested in Instacart, which most recently raised $220M at a $2B valuation, as well as DoorDash, Hampton Creek Foods, and Unreal Brands.
500 Startups and Slow Ventures rounded out the top 3 most active VCs. 500 Startups’ recent bets include Platejoy and Bento, while Slow Ventures most recently participated in Postmates’ $80M Series D, which valued the company at $500M.
The full list is below.
|2||500 Startups||6||SV Angel|
|2||Slow Ventures||9||Sherpa Ventures|
|4||Lerer Hippeau Ventures||9||Great Oaks Venture Capital|
|4||Index Ventures||9||Spark Capital|
|6||First Round Capital||9||Andreessen Horowitz|
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This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity