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Food Tech startups raised a record $5.7B in 2015

The food tech sector boomed in 2015, as Asia drove the bulk of funding growth for what ended up being a record year, Europe also saw significant growth in food tech

2015 created a perfect storm for food tech startup funding, as the global shift to on-demand consumption paired with increased investor interest in the massive addressable markets associated with food, drove global funding figures to four straight $1B+ quarters in 2015.

The food tech category covers tech-enabled companies specifically involved with the preparation, assembly, and/or delivery of food products to consumers including prepared meal delivery companies (like Munchery and Sprig), online ordering platforms (Delivery HeroEle.me), meal kit delivery companies (Blue ApronPlated), among others. It does not include restaurant tech or companies marketing traditional food products.

Overall, food tech startups raised $5.7B across 275 deals in 2015, up 152% on a funding basis and 102% on deals basis year-over-year. Large deals, including online food ordering site Ele.me’s $1.25B corporate minority round, Womai’s $220M Series C and Grofers’ $120M Series C led Q4’15 to reach an all-time high for food tech funding at $2.15B, up 267% versus the same quarter a year prior.

Funding by continent

When breaking down funding figures by continent, Asia dominated in 2015, raising more than both Europe and North America combined thanks to 5 mega-rounds of $100M+, including 3 to Ele.me which ended up raising a cumulative $2.23B in 2015, as well as the previously mentioned Womai and Grofers Series C rounds.

Europe also saw over $1B in funding, led by the Rocket Internet-backed trio of Delivery Hero (raised a cumulative $673M across 2 rounds), Foodpanda ($210M across 2 rounds), and HelloFresh ($211M across 2 rounds).

Alternatively, after funding increased over 5x for North American food tech startups from 2013 to 2014, 2015 saw fairly minimal funding growth year-over-year, increasing to $949M in 2015, led by 2 $100M+ rounds to Blue Apron and Impossible Foods.

Deal activity by continent

Despite the drastic differences in funding figures, deal activity between North America and Asia was much closer. Asian food tech deal activity saw explosive deal growth to accompany its funding boom, increasing nearly 198% year-over-year. North American deal activity also was up, increasing 49% over the 2014 total, as early-stage investment activity picked up in 2015.

Most active VC investors in Food Tech (since 2013)




500 Startups


Accel Partners


Index Ventures


Slow Ventures


Phenomen Ventures


Sequoia Capital China


Great Oaks Venture Capital


Andreessen Horowitz


Khosla Ventures


Bessemer Venture Partners


SAIF Partners




Sequoia Capital India


East Ventures


SV Angel


First Round Capital


IDG Capital Partners

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