Investing in Food and Drinks – the Emergence of Food Startups
According to research reports published by PwC, the world population is expected to increase by 1 billion over a 15 year period leading to a 35% increase in food consumption. Concerns about food scarcity and interest in sustainability has led to emergence of startups adopting different approaches to tackle this issue. Sustainability is not the only factor driving change in the food industry other factors exist.
Are these changes here to stay or simply a hype that will fade with time? How are investors responding to this new wave?
To understand what the future holds for the industry, it is important to explore what drives investment decisions and how current changes in the industry is influencing that.
Three investors: 2 of whom manage venture capital funds and an angel investor shared their insights for this article.
Jordan Gaspar- Co-founder Accel Foods
Jordan Gaspar is the Co-Founder at AccelFoods a venture fund that invests in high-growth packaged food and beverage companies. The fund is currently operating out of its third fund, with $90 million assets under management and a portfolio of 36 active companies,
Julia Olayanju: Can you please tell us briefly about yourself and what led you to establishing the fund you have today.
Gaspar: In my prior life as a corporate lawyer, I advised venture and private equity firms and their portfolio companies on acquisitions, sales, mergers, and financings. In 2013, I met my co-founder Lauren Jupiter, and we launched our initial platform after identifying a white space in the early and emerging growth-stages of consumer packaged goods. I oversee deal origination, structure and investment execution, as well as head-up strategy, retailer partnerships, investor relations and general management of the fund. My early years as a lawyer equipped me with significant transactional experience that I apply every day in my current role. As AccelFoods participated in over 25 financings last year alone, we are extremely active in identifying great new companies, diligencing them, financing and supporting our founders as they scale.