Israel’s largest food manufacturer, Tnuva, announced this week it will establish new investment fund called Tnuva NEXT.
Deputy CEO CFO of the Group and Israeli business development leader, Yaakov Chen, will lead Tnuva NEXT alongside Shay Cohen, Tnuva’s chief innovation officer. The investment fund will function as a corporate venture capital fund (CVC) to directly fund external startup companies.
“Tnuva’s investment fund realizes the company’s strategy of investing in growing fields like food tech, while identifying opportunities and creating innovative processes, including financial partnerships and cooperation, all part of the company’s preparation for initial public offering,” said Chairman of Tnuva, Haim Gavrieli.
“Tnuva’s investment fund will conduct between two to three yearly investments,” he added. “Some will increase the investment in the incubator, and others in post-seed and A rounds start-ups developing cultured food, advanced production methods, smart factory and customized nutrition solutions.”
“Our strategy is to invest in companies that are synergistic to Tnuva’s core fields and that will produce value while acquiring production and marketing rights,” said Eyal Malis, CEO of Tnuva Group. “Tnuva brings beneficial expertise to collaborations with other start-ups, including its deep familiarity with the Israeli consumer, R&D capabilities, the largest distribution platform in Israel — and lately also a direct sale platforms for customers, access to the local and global markets and international partners, and of course a long list of well-known and loved brands. Today it is clear that top technology and patents are not enough when start-ups require a pilot facility, market access, experts and business and professional networking.”
Originally founded in 1926, Tnuva is a national company of Israel operating as a fast moving consumer goods company (FCGM). In September 2019, Tnuva established Fresh Start, a technological incubator based in Qiryat Sh’mona specializing in food and agriculture to which its partners Tempo, an Israeli beverage company; OurCrowd, an equity crowdfunding platform; and and Finistere Ventures, a global venture capital firm specializing in food and agriculture invested NIS 37 million. To date, 8 food tech startups have launched from Tnuva’s prior incubator’s support, but a total of 40 startups are expected to develop in the next handful of years, according to Gavrieli.
In 2021, Israeli food-tech companies raised around $640 million––surpassing the total amount raised between 2015 and 2020, according to Startup Nation Central. 42 food tech startups on average each year are founded in Israel. However, 172 deals have been finalized in the last 3 years.