2021 Set To Be A Record For Investment in Vegan Companies

Creative workspace and accelerator Huckletree today announces the release of Future Insights: The FoodTech Report 2021. The report, built with data platform Beauhurst, examines the companies and trends shaping the future of the industry.


FoodTech Ecosystem Analysis


A large focus of the report focuses on the industry ecosystem, giving an overview of the current landscape, as well as spotlighting historic investment trends and potential future opportunities.


Key findings included:

  • The UK’s high-growth ecosystem has seen 863 FoodTech companies launched since 2011. Of these, 650 are still active, fast-growing businesses. Meanwhile, 67 have exited, and the remaining 146 have ceased operations.

  • Over the 10 years between 2011 and 2020, these businesses have raised an enormous £2.6b in equity investment across 1,202 rounds and received £97.6m via 461 grants.

  • The top year for investment by value was 2019, which saw an enormous £687m worth of fundraising.


    Of the 1,202 deals made over the decade, almost half (526) were the first time the company making the deal secured equity fundraising. Huckletree believes the FoodTech business ecosystem is clearly in its early stages, with a surge in deals expected over the coming years.

The report also looked closely at the regions in the UK that can be considered the hubs of FoodTech activity, by measuring the amount of active high-growth FoodTech startups per region. London had, by far, the highest density of companies – being home to 234, with Westminster, Islington, and Camden emerging as the most prominent boroughs.

Looking outside of London, Edinburgh came in second place with 20 companies, whilst the City of Bristol (10), Birmingham (9), Glasgow (8) and Leeds (8) were also home to a promising crop of companies.



Emerging Sectors – AgriTech and Veganism


The report also looked at specific sectors within FoodTech, by outlining the number of active, high-growth companies per sector.

Precision Agriculture came out on top with 35 companies, followed by Services-On-Demand (26), Artificial Intelligence (23) and Urban Farming (13). The industry focus on agriculture reflects FoodTech’s contribution to the wars against climate change and resource wastage, with the report highlighting many companies creating innovative ways to access food or inventing new and more sustainable production methods.

Veganism also emerged as a rapidly-growing sector when analysing investment trends – £64m was raised by the UK’s vegan FoodTech companies in equity funding in 2020, via 51 deals. More than £90m has already been secured in 2021 so far, meaning that 2021 is set to be a record high for funding.

Huckletree recently announced a dedicated space for FoodTech companies in its ‘Futures Hub’ at their flagship White City workspace, housing some of the most exciting UK businesses in the sector, including The Collective Dairy, a B-Corp revolutionising dairy products, Remeo Gelato, a luxury Italian ice cream, and Forward Fooding, a consulting firm for food companies built on FoodTech data intelligence.

Leo Medley, General Manager at Huckletree White City commented: “With the world’s population predicted to hit nearly 10 billion by 2050, FoodTech innovation is becoming a moral necessity. From the rise of meat alternatives and groceries-on-demand to AI-powered agritech, the FoodTech sector’s future is increasingly guided by consumer attitudes towards conscious consumption, climate, and convenience – and our report highlights the companies and trends that are leading the way. Our Futures Hub in Huckletree White City is a proud home to some of the UK’s leading FoodTech companies. It is a dedicated haven for startups and global brands paving our future way of life – how we sleep, think, move, and, of course, eat.”

To read the full report visit www.beauhurst.com/research/future-insights-foodtech/