Pedro de Álava
The liquidity party is over; from the second half of 2022, the financial environment has changed unfavourably for technology startups. The main reasons are inflation, which has led to the Fed and ECB raising interest rates and ending their debt purchase programmes, actions that have drained liquidity and made borrowing more expensive.
This new financial context will lead capital to treat investment in technology start-ups with greater caution, reducing the capital in circulation, with the consequence that many of these companies will find it impossible to raise the expected capital and will close due to lack of financing.
This context is not alien to the Food Tech sector. In recent years we have seen a revolution in agri-food companies, where, influenced by trends, new products and consumer spaces were created, projecting company values linked to their future growth.
“We are living in times of reduced liquidity, creating great uncertainty for technology companies”.
If you presented a product that brought together taste, health and sustainability, the growth of new launches was almost guaranteed. However, in 2022 we have learned that consumers demand products that are almost unique, affordable, tasty, healthy, sustainable, accessible, safe and that translate into special moments of consumption. Achieving all these attributes in a single product is complex and the consumer, sovereign in their purchasing decisions, determines the success or failure of these products.
We do not know at what rate the plant based market will grow or which products will be consolidated for flexitarians or vegans, but we do know that consumers are looking for complete products, and that due to market need or regulatory pressure, we still have a universe of change ahead of us.
At Tech Transfer Agrifood we prefer to see this context as an opportunity. Every day we mingle with startups, universities and technology centres to learn about the innovations or improvements that are being proposed, reaching a deal flow of more than 1,050 projects.
With our sights set on the challenges facing the sector, in 2022 we invested 3MM€ in 13 operations, consolidating an investment model that combines, on the same platform, corporate access to proofs of concept of real problems in the industry, with investment in disruptive business models.
2023 begins for the food sector with the homework done in efficiency, quality and omnichannel, however, we still have many challenges ahead in new proteins, formulations, labelling, fermentation… that will set the pace of how these new innovations invade the food chain.
The journey begins!!!!