Food tech smorgasbord, VCs squeeze crypto founders, startup layoffs 101

Most of us have a variety of fermented food products in our kitchen: you can’t make tofu, chocolate, vinegar or bread without agreeable microorganisms that can be produced at scale.

Today, precision fermentation is innovating the alternative protein industry as food tech startups find the best methods for brewing eggs, dairy, meat and seafood in bioreactors that taste like “the real thing” — and are priced similarly.

According to The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that studies alternative proteins, fermentation startups received $290 million out of the $911 million investors dropped on alternative protein companies in Q1 2022.

“To date, fermentation-derived meat, seafood, egg and dairy companies have raised over $3 billion since GFI started tracking these investments in 2010,” reports Christine Hall, who took a closer look at the sector for TechCrunch+ this week.

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Her story is a smorgasbord of food tech companies brewing products like bee-free honey and eggs that didn’t come from poultry. Now that so many early entrants in the alternative protein market are on supermarket shelves, food tech investors are licking their lips.

“There’s a lot of room here, and the winners may not be the names that we know today,” said David Kestenbaum, general partner at ZX Ventures. “I think it’s going to be the next generation of names that are coming up now.”

Thanks very much for reading TechCrunch+ this week. Have a happy Juneteenth!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+

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