Being Israel's largest food manufacturer, it is no surprise that Tnuva conducts many innovative processes for food tech, in a number of ways, be it from investing in start-ups, facilitating joint research with academic partners, establishing joint projects with Israel’s Innovation Authority, or conducting joint developments with partner companies. The establishment of Tnuva Next, Tnuva’s new food-tech venture capital fund, goes hand in hand with Tnuva’s goals: to invest in companies that will produce value in fields synergetic to Tnuva’s core areas of expertise. The fund will also encourage investment in companies dealing with protein substitutes abroad, not just those within Israel.
Israel leads the world in yet another tech industry
Israel made quite the dent in the food-tech industry last year and is now considered a world leader in the area. In 2021, Israeli food tech companies raised around $640 million, which alone was more than what was raised between 2015 and 2020. Likewise, every year, an average of 42 food tech companies are founded in Israel. Tnuva has a reputation in the dairy substitutes sector, and since food tech and protein substitutes are the future, the opening of Tnuva Next just makes sense. It will allow Tnuva to continue to be Israel’s leader in food and help the industry not only grow and offer consumer beneficial nutritious solutions, but also help with food security.
The fund will conduct between two to three investments each year, in post-seed and Series A investment rounds for startups that are developing cultured food, advanced production methods, smart factory and customized nutrition solutions. The fund realizes Tnuva’s potential role to invest in growing fields like food tech while identifying opportunities and creating innovative processes, including financial partnerships and cooperation. The fund is expected to invest around 30 million NIS (which equates to just under 10 million USD) this coming year. Moreover, the fund will allow Tnuva to continue to bring beneficial expertise to collaborations with other start-ups with its deep familiarity with the Israeli consumer and R&D capabilities.
Tnuva has made investments in food-tech in the past, like in Remilk, the startup that developed cultured milk, Blue Tree, whose technology reduces sugar content in freshly squeezed orange juice, and Floristem, a biotech company that offers a technological platform for raising cultures cells. With its past track record, there is no doubt that Tnuva Next will continue Tnuva’s legacy in the food-tech world.
Tnuva NEXT will be led by Yaakov Chen, Deputy CEO and CFO of Tnuva, who is also leading the company’s business development in Israel and abroad, and Shay Cohen, Tnuva’s Chief Innovation Officer, who is charged with leading local innovation and business development. In a conversation with Geektime, Tnuva’s Chairman Haim Gavrieli shared with us that “The investment fund allows us to deepen our activity in food-tech and develop innovative processes locally and globally, as part of the company’s strategic outlines.”