Where’s the smart money going in food tech? From precision nutrition to enabling tech for alt meat, dairy. In conversation with PeakBridge

Targeting series A and B companies in ingredients innovation, sub protein technologies, digitalization, nutrition & health, and alternative farming systems across Europe, Israel, and the US, four months after launch, PeakBridge Growth II has completed its first closing (€100m) in partnership with Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity at around half of its target fund size.

The first two investments from the fund are in Netherlands-based Rival Foods​ ​(a spin-off company from Wageningen University using shear cell tech to make whole cuts of plant-based meat) and France-based Standing Ovation​ ​(animal-free casein proteins).

Meat alternatives: ‘If you invest heavily in technology that will be used by multiple brands, or in multiple places in the value chain, the impact is multiplied significantly’​ ​

So what is PeakBridge’s take on the lower meat space, which is typically part of any conversation about changing the food system, given the negative environmental impact of animal agriculture?

There’s no doubt something has to change, said Berger, who noted that “50% of the grains we grow on this planet are going to animal feed or biofuels, which is crazy.”​ ​

But right now, argued Glickman, echoing comments made by Tom Mastrobuoni at Big Idea Ventures, plant-based meat has hit a bit of an impasse, with firms looking for the next technological leaps that will bring in a wider audience of meat eaters that must be reached in order to displace conventional animal agricultural systems.

Plant-based meat is going nowhere; the huge issue is consumer satisfaction, so we are looking for technologies which will increase consumer experience satisfaction, taste, and texture.”​ ​

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