February 2022

The FoodTech 500 2021: A jump in global funding and strong Swiss representation

The FoodTech 500, released this week, shows that 2021 was a record-breaking year for the global AgriFoodTech system. 18 Swiss companies made it into the ranking, including 6 Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley members.

The FoodTech 500

The FoodTech 500 – the Fortune 500 for AgriFoodTech – is the definitive list of global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection between food, technology and sustainability. The initiative was developed by Forward Fooding, a global collaborative platform for the food and beverage industry, to celebrate those who are shaping the future of food from farm to fork.

The ranking is compiled using their FoodTech Data Navigator’s algorithms to assess the applicant’s business size and digital footprint, combined with a sustainability score based on their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals.

For the purposes of the ranking, the team defines AgriFoodTech as “the emergent sector exploring how technology can be leveraged to improve efficiency and sustainability in designing, producing, choosing, delivering & enjoying food.”

The global results

The White Paper released alongside the ranking reveals that 2021 was a record-breaking year for the global AgriFoodTech system, with $50.4B dollars raised by AgriFoodTech startups and scaleup companies. This figure represents a huge leap on the figure of EUR 17.5B ($19.8B) reported in 2020.

This year, the Forward Fooding team sifted through over 2250 applications from over 85 countries to select their top 500. Consistent with the overall improvement to the funding landscape, the 2021 finalists raised $9.6B – over double what their peers had secured in 2020 ($4.6B). The majority of finalists (57%) were working in AgTech or Next Gen Food & drinks and around 70% were at seed or Series A funding stage, findings that were consistent with the 2020 results. 46% of all listed companies identified Sustainable Development Goal 2 to be amongst the top 3 SDGs they’re contributing to as part of their work. The report also identified a slight lift in female founders (29% against 25.2% in 2020).

 AgriFoodTech innovation in Switzerland

The list included 18 Swiss companies, including six Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley members:

  • Planted Foods AG secured 51st place in the global ranking, moving up 4 places from last year’s edition. The Zurich-based biotech spin-off from ETH was founded in 2019 and is already present in five European markets with a total of over 160 employees. Planted produces delicious plant-based meat with the perfect bite. The company applies a pioneering approach, combining protein structuring with biotechnology, to design and structure proteins in any size, shape, and fibrous texture perfectly.
  • Yverdon-les-Bains-based EcoRobotix appeared in 145th place. Founded in 2014, the company develops, produces and sells innovative, solar-powered farming machines that reduce agriculture’s environmental impact, while improving farmers’ profitability.
  • Another new entry, Farmer Connect bagged 271st place in the list. Founded in 2019, the company connects coffee and chocolate lovers to the producers that fuel their habit through innovative supply chain technology.
  • Sera intelligence came in at number 341. This Zurich-based company simplifies the complexity of horticulture by using plant models and data analytics to allow for better decisions, investments and crop strategies.
  • Vivent SA made their first appearance in the list at number 431. A Swiss leader in plant electrophysiology, their groundbreaking technology PhytlSigns, dubbed the ‘FitBit of Plants’, uses tech to tap into plant signalling to make agriculture more sustainable.
  • Flavor sensory science startup, iSense, also secured a place in the ranking for the first time, in spot 456. They standardize flavor taste measurement to enable comparison and propose a software (SaaS) to accelerate flavor selection, matching, creation and sourcing.

Farmy.ch, the online marketplace for regional and organic products and yamo, producing plant-based and fresh snacks for kids, secured a spot in the Top 50 with 13th and 34th place respectively. Crowd Container (76), YASAI (125), Authena – Protect Authenticity (153), Genuine Way (197), FlavorWiki (201), KITRO (210), SwissDeCode (228), Essento Insect Food (279), Embion Technologies (305) and Lyfa  (434) also appeared in the Top 500 ranking.

About Forward Fooding
Forward Fooding is the world’s first collaborative platform for the food and beverage industry, fostering innovation via FoodTech Data Intelligence and corporate-startup collaboration. Since 2015 they’ve been acting as an ecosystem enabler to provide the necessary support and velocity to enable meaningful collaboration and partnerships between established food organizations and AgriFoodTech startup and scale-up companies. 

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