February Edition 2023

10 EBN’s Caner adds: “In the food tech sectors, many CVCs, such as ADM, Tyson food, Muller ventures, and Rich Ventures, as well as specialized VC funds such as S2G, Emerald and others,” while Rom of Gornitzky points to VC funds, such as Terra Ventures, Bridges and private equity funds such as Tene Funds, as well as designated funds, such as PeakBridge, A.P. Partners, and JVP. “Most of the serial investors in the food and agriculture space are multinational strategics, generally big global food companies whose business stands to be disrupted by innovation in their space,” says Joey Shabot, partner and Tel Aviv Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig. As Amir-Yaniv of Arnon, Tadmor-Levy adds: “Notably, all major food corporations such as Unilever, Osem, Strauss, Coca-Cola and Tnuva, have established incubators with the objectives of encouraging innovation in both these markets and attracting investors to invest in emerging start-ups. “Since local companies’ ability to raise funds for emerging startups has been limited, they have responded by transferring their efforts to their international owned/ controlled corporations.” Nevertheless, several well-established Israeli companies are heavily involved, among them Strauss and the Tnuva Group, Israel's biggest food manufacturer and leading dairy producer, leading the way. Tnuva created a new investment fund called Tnuva NEXT for investing in food-tech start-ups. Tnuva is also a partner in the Fresh Start, a Foodtech incubator in Kiryat Shmona, which, since opening in 2020, has completed investments in 10 food-tech startups, among them ProFuse, which operates in the field of cultured meat, and BlueTree,which developed technology to lower the sugar content of fruit juice. For the companies themselves, one key consideration is expressed by Greenberg Traurig’s Shabot. “How do I as a small innovative company protect myself from, on the one hand, being overly aligned with a key strategic investor, such that other strategic investors are not scared from investing in my company, because they think I am sort of already on the hook with one specific strategic investor who invested early. So, entrepreneurs need to be focused on that and they are.” He adds: “The other piece is how do I protect my IP from the big players - my knowhow or my secret sauce from being exposed too much to a potential competitor that is theoretically capable? This is definitely not the strategy of the multinational companies that we work with, but the worry is always there on the start-up side. So careful consideration goes into the approach of structuring the relationship with a strategic in terms of too much information