Foodland Ventures, the VC and Accelerator building a global ecosystem of food tech founders, held its first demo day on the 22nd of July and unveiled its very first cohort consisting of 6 startups who are solving the food industry’s most challenging problems. This is an exciting time in the food tech space – the global food and agriculture markets are expected to reach 6 and 9 trillion USD in 2021, respectively. And the role of tech is rising, with the food and agriculture technology and products market expected to grow from almost 500 billion to more than 700 billion USD by 2026.
As serial entrepreneurs with decades of experience, Foodland Venture’s three Co-founders are subject-matter experts in software, technology, venture capital, and food industry consultancy. Each of them is dedicated to bridging the gap between modern tech-based innovation and the traditional food industry. They believe that technology is the solution to solve the food industry’s problems from farm to table.
At Foodland Ventures’ inaugural food tech demo day, the roster included Tsaitung Agriculture (smart supply chain), DOTDOT Inc. (in-store restaurant tech), 3T GDS Technology inc. (fintech), Yo-Kai Express (restaurant automation), KABOB CLOUD (smart retail SaaS / PaaS), and 3 SQUARE (cloud kitchen / virtual brands). The 6 companies already have a combined valuation of over 105 million USD.
Enabling the growth of the food industry through technology
The founders of Foodland Ventures believe that now is a golden opportunity to disrupt the food industry through technology. With well-aligned resources and investors from both the food and tech industries, they are much better suited to assist food tech founders than traditional sector-agnostic VCs.
Co-founder and CEO Victor Chen has over 10 years of experience in software, and is also the founder of Food Innovation Summit Taiwan and the global food industry digest NOM Magazine. “Covid has accelerated the adoption of technology in the food industry. The difficult time now could be considered a turning point for restauranteurs to scale and grow even post-Covid.” He said.
Co-founder Louis Lin has over 20 years of experience in restaurant consultancy and global F&B expansions. “Foodland Ventures connects innovative startups directly with valuable customers in the F&B industry, to help our founders find product market fit in the fastest way possible.” Louis mentioned.
Co-founder Agnes Wang is a serial entrepreneur and an experienced venture capitalist. “What investors are looking for in a food tech startup is the ability to challenge the status quo of the food industry, and turn those challenges into opportunities to enable growth in the food industry through innovation” She said.
Connecting World-Class VCs in the Global Food Tech Space – Fireside Chat Panel
Foodland Ventures’ Food Tech Demo Day kicked off with 3 world-class investor speakers – from Sequoia Capital India, SOSV and Scrum Ventures – to discuss global food tech trends in different geographic areas, the impact COVID has left on the food and food tech industries, and the expectations for food tech in the post-COVID world.
Rohit Agarwal, VP of Sequoia Capital India and Ryo Hayashima, Managing Director of Food Tech Studio – Bites! of Scrum Ventures both highlighted the traction gains of “tech-enabled F&B brands” in both the South East Asian (SEA) and Japanese markets. Traditionally, food tech investment has been focused on pure “tech” companies, but with the boundaries of food and tech merging, tech enabled F&B brands are utilizing data insights to expand quickly and efficiently.
William Bao Bean, General Partner of SOSV, Managing Director of Chinaceelerator and MOX, also shared his experience and insights with food tech startups on international expansions. He argued that unless your startup is from the US, China or India, you need an international presence to build a large-scale business. He also reiterated the importance for startups to be able to “solve problems” in the market they wish to expand to — “You want to go into a market where the product or platform or solution or service that you’re providing actually solves a problem in that market.”.
During the discussion William also highlighted the continuous growth of e-commerce even while physical stores are recovering post-COVID. He stated that e-commerce, in terms of food products and food retail, grew by 20% in the first four months of this year. In Asia, traditional open markets and wet markets are taking hits as people are more and more conscious about food traceability after COVID.
At Foodland Ventures, we’re very excited for the future of food tech. We’re seeing further market disruptions and investment opportunities as new consumer behaviors have been established.
6 Startups Disrupting the Food Sector from Farm to Table
3 SQUARE is the next generation of cloud kitchen – a digital foodhall network and virtual restaurant group. 3 SQUARE provides tech-enabled, turnkey solutions that are both sustainable and profitable by maximizing utilization and revenue per square meter of kitchen spaces to create great tasting food. 3 SQUARE is creating an ecosystem of support for people’s passion in food, technology and business. We provide an infrastructure and build a network of solutions where we are able to share and pool resources, learn from one another and grow together. From our digital food hall network to our virtual restaurant brands, 3 SQUARE is dedicated to offering services for success and profitability so our partners not only survive, but thrive in the ultra-competitive F&B industry.
3T GDS Technology Inc. was founded in early 2020 and is the provider of technology that enables cross-border and cross platform clearance for e-commerce purchases. The team aims to build the largest alliance of “local kings,” helping local providers digitize their services and products into digital vouchers, distribute with 3T GDS’s borderless network, and aggregate all cross-border orders for the providers. With their local king alliance, they’re solving the issue of global ticket distribution and cross-border clearance. They have partnered with more than 15 international channels and currently have over 500 Taiwanese and 5,000 international commodities currently distributed on their platform. They will expand to more international channels including OTA, EC, social media and financial payments.
DOTDOT Inc. was founded by 4 serial engineer-entrepreneurs. Their digital ordering platform Quickclick provides a wide variety of options including online ordering, ordering via QR code, and via the LINE app. The system also integrates digital payment services, logistics services and food delivery services, spearheading the digitalization of restaurants regardless of their operational scale. Quickclick is the largest and fastest-growing platform in its category. With more than 6,000 restaurants already onboarded in less than 2 years, their customers range from breakfast shops, tea shops, fast food chains, and food courts, to hotels and Michelin restaurants. With more than 400k users, their GMV in the first half of 2021 already exceeded 540 million NTD (19.3 million USD). They are planning to expand internationally by 2022, starting from the Japanese market and then to SEA.
KABOB CLOUD is a SaaS and PaaS provider focusing on smart retail management services to build a complete O2O experience. Their AI solutions include digital signage, in-store music, staff training and evaluation, and facial and gesture recognition as well as retail and staff management with 18 apps. Their current users include retail stores, restaurants, supermarkets and various physical retail locations, providing services to more than 450 brands with several tens of thousands of devices. Their global clientele are spread across China, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore and includes well known brands such as McDonald’s, SEPHORA (LVMH Group), Fresh Hema under Alibaba, Burger King, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice, happylemon, HEYTEA, IKEA, Singtel and T&T Supermarket. They are currently expanding into the US and Australian markets.
Tsaitung Agriculture is the first fresh ingredient solution in Taiwan to connect producers and ingredient users with data and internet technology in both B2B and B2C. Their approach cuts the total our approach cuts the total layers involved in the middle of the supply chain from 3 to 1, and total time to delivery from 3-4 days to under 1. They have built a platform to connect ingredient producers directly to restaurants and extended their solution to individual customers. Their clients range from F&B, to e-commerce, and the logistics industry and they have served over 400 notable brands including two biggest e-commerce platforms in Taiwan – momo and PCHOME, Secom Group, Gloria Hotel Group and TimHoWon. They have been growing at 2x-3x yearly for multiple years since their founding. For international expansion, they aim to enter Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City in Q3 2022, and to Malaysia and Singapore later on.
Yo-Kai Express was founded in San Francisco. The 24/7 autonomous restaurant takes the form of vending machines, home-use appliances and self-driving cars. Their patented technology in the freezing and reheating process provides convenience without sacrificing on taste. Customers can have great-tasting food served to them in under 1 minute anytime, anywhere. Using a proprietary algorithm, they are able to predict demand curves and manage inventory, reducing labor. Their autonomous restaurants are deployed in hospitals, airports, hotels, schools, theme parks, ski resorts and office buildings in many large corporations. They are currently raising their Series A and will be expanding into the Japanese market by 2021 Q4.
About Foodland Ventures
Foodland Ventures is the VC and accelerator built for food tech founders taking on the global markets and focusing on disrupting the food and restaurant industry through technology. We provide comprehensive resources throughout the farm-to-table supply chain to assist food tech entrepreneurs.
If you have any enquiries about Foodland Ventures or the Demo Day, please contact:
Foodland Ventures Community & PR Manager Leo Lin
- phone / Whatsapp: +886 929 827 788