The food and beverage sector has had a rough patch in 2023, with a perceivable slide in the deal activity:

  • 205 deals worth $2B in Q3 2023 compared to 268 deals worth $2.2B in Q2 2023.
  • Year-over-year funding dropped more than 71%. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The financial constraints aren’t that bad compared to some industries, with much food and beverage venture capital left up for grabs—you just need to play your hand right. 

To help you find the perfect investor match and beat the fundraising odds, we’ve hand-picked top food and beverage investors who keep their wallets open for promising ideas. Look through to learn about the key VC players in the industry,  their investment criteria and contact details.

1. S2G Ventures

➡️ S2G Ventures supports entrepreneurs dedicated to building solutions tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues across the food, clean energy, oceans, and agriculture markets. Focused not only on financial but also positive environmental and social returns, this fund provides equity from seed to growth stages, as well as debt and infrastructure financing.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Industries: Clean Energy, Food & Agriculture, Oceans & Seafood

Funding stage: Seed, Early Stage, Late Stage, Debt

Value-added beyond money: provide mentorship and valuable resources to its portfolio companies

Number of investments: 156

Number of exits: 5

Notable portfolio companies: Common Energy, AppHarvest, ReelData

Contacts: Contact-us page, LinkedIn

2. FoodLabs

➡️ FoodLabs—a foodtech investor revolutionizing the future of health, nutrition, and food. Since its onset in 2015, the fund has invested in over 30 foodtech ventures, helped Europe’s fastest unicorn to get off the ground, and founded the foremost Early Stage Food platform. 

Location: Berlin, Germany

Industries: Foodtech, Healthcare, Nutrition, Sustainability, ClimateTech

Funding stage: Seed, Early Stage

Number of investments: 66

Number of exits: 4

Notable portfolio companies: Bosque Foods, Formo, Klim

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

3. SOSV

➡️ SOSV spans globally. With more than 1K startups in their portfolio and over $1.5B in assets under management, this investment powerhouse directs capital towards deep-tech entrepreneurs poised to improve human and planetary health.

Location: Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Industries: Agnostic (DeepTech)

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Growth

Value-added beyond money

  • HAX—a pre-seed program for hard tech startups, providing up to $250K in funds (apply here);
  • IndieBio—a pre-seed program for human and planetary health startups, channelling from $250K to $525K in funding (apply here);

Average check size: $250K – $500K (pre-seed)

Number of investments: 2692

Number of exits: 75

Notable portfolio companies: NotCo, Upside Foods, Prellis

Contacts: LinkedIn

4. AF Ventures

➡️ AF Ventures targets companies with $5M-$30M in annual revenue and robust unit economics, positioned for sustainable growth.

Location: New York, USA

Industries: Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Beauty & Personal Care, Pet Products

Funding stage: Growth Stage

Number of investments: 135

Number of exits: 8

Notable portfolio companies: Cirkul, Byheart, Tractor

Contacts: LinkedIn

5. VMG Partners

➡️ VMG funnels investments into visionary entrepreneurs across tech and consumer products sectors. Beyond pouring money, the fund collaborates with innovative founders to help them hone their ideas and gear up growth. 

Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Industries: Food & Beverage, Beauty & Personal Care, Health & Wellness, Pet Products & Services, Marketplaces, Software

Funding stage: Early Stage

Number of investments: 49 

Number of exits: 6

Notable portfolio companies: Afresh, Babyganics, Daily Harvest

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

6. Big Idea Ventures

➡️ Big Idea Ventures, the most active foodtech VC, operates globally with offices in New York, Paris, and Singapore. With over 100 startups across 25 countries under its belt and backing from prominent partners like Temasek Holdings, AAK, and Givaudan, the firm is at the forefront of food innovation. Also, it played a key role in establishing the alternative protein industry.

Location: New York, USA

Industries: AgTech, Alternative Protein, Biotechnology, Food & Beverage, Nutrition 

Funding stage: Seed, Early Stage 

Value-added beyond money: offer a 5-month program for early-stage startups (apply here)

Average check size: $200K ($125K in cash and $75K in value-added services); up to $2.5M after the accelerator program 

Number of investments: 128 

Number of exits: 3 

Notable portfolio companies: Another, DisSolves, PFx Biotech 

Contacts: Contact page, Apply-now page, LinkedIn

What’s next

The unprecedented disruption throughout the food and beverage industry has been recently followed by market volatility and investor hesitance. However, VCs still view this sector as promising and continue to pour money into the most savvy, innovative, and capital-efficient beverage startups. 

Preparing for an investor hunt? Remember: your pitch story is everything. In 2024, investors look for the most resilient ventures with a strong market, defensible business model and potential for quick returns. You must show all that—and then some—in the most compelling way. 

If you don’t know where to start, check out our pitch deck hub for insights and tips straight from the trenches. Or, reach out to our team to speed up the process and get guaranteed investor attention on your deck.

15 posts

Ruslana

CONTENT WRITER

Hello! I'm Ruslana, a Content Writer at Waveup. Based on my background in marketing research and business analytics, and my current collaboration with the savvy team at Waveup, I'm excited to share my insights and learnings with you.