The past decade has seen a fervour of food innovation sweeping the Holy Land and there are no signs of it slowing down. Between 2013 and 2019, investments in Israeli foodtech start-ups have almost tripled and strategic collaborations with global food and drink companies continue to flourish – Israel’s foodtech ecosystem is made up of more than 300 start-ups and 17 universities and research centres.
As a global melting pot of cultures and religions, Israel had to establish every type of food company and production to ensure an attractive, authentic, and safe supply for all its population. This approach established a base of vast knowledge and expertise in food technologies, allowing entrepreneurs to get local support for almost every need.
Foodtech innovation incubator, The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, addresses global food challenges by harnessing Israel’s renowned innovation capabilities. The hub is part of the Strauss Group, one of the largest food products manufacturers in Israel.
“We are not only seed-stage investors but also company builders with more than 18 companies in our portfolio, all making vast contributions to the future of food,” said Jonathan Berger, The Kitchen’s chief executive.
“The Kitchen is currently completing investments in a few new start-ups with breakthrough technologies and will continue supporting portfolio companies to raise capital in Series A rounds and penetrating global markets.”
Plant-based meat and other protein alternatives are the biggest global food trend today, yet it is not a new concept for the Israeli consumer: vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians make up close to 40% of the Israeli population, and in 1985, food company Tivall pioneered a range of animal-free meat.
Food technology is required in all areas of the food and drink value chain, and there is a strong focus on alternative proteins.
Below is a list of eight Israeli foodtech start-ups generating positive transformations in the global food landscape.
Headquartered in Givat Brenner, located 45-minutes’ drive south of Tel Aviv, Equinom breeds non-GMO seeds with exceptional characteristics, superior nutritional profiles, and outstanding crop yields.
Equinom is the only legume and sesame breeder designing seeds exclusively for the food industry, offering food manufacturers many ingredient possibilities to feed the explosive growth in the plant-based market.
The company developed Smarter Sesame, a mechanical harvestable seed already in commercial production in 10 different countries.
With a new office also in Indianapolis, Indiana, the start-up has raised $16 million and is currently approaching its C round funding stage.
Investors supporting Equinom include Fortissimo Capital, BASF, Roquette Freres, The Danzinger Group, Trendlines, and Hazera.