Recently, Crowdfooding, an online service that aims to match food-focused entrepreneurs, including some health-focused startups, with experienced investors launched a beta version of their website.
The service has created a database of accredited investors who have funded different types of food companies, including specialty food, groceries, food delivery, and food and tech, which includes nutrition apps and connected devices for food tracking.
"Food has never experienced so much innovation from startups because the barrier was very high back in the day to actually penetrate this market," CEO Alessio D'Antino told MobiHealthNews. "Now, with all this innovation from super foods to recipe apps to food delivery, many areas in the food space are getting disrupted by food startups and therefore, from an investment standpoint, they’re becoming more and more appealing as an investment."
D'Antino said that eventually the service will match food entrepreneurs to investors who have a relevant investing history. D'Antino said so far they have collected a majority of the investor information from different sources, but since they announced the platform, investors have started asking to be added to the database. Some have even expressed an interest in investing in more food startups. Once matched, Crowdfooding will charge the investors a management fee of between 2 to 5 percent of the amount raised.
There are currently 14 investors that have invested in digital health companies focused on nutrition in the database. Crowdfooding lists investors that have invested in healthy recipe and coupon app Zipongo; healthy recipe app Yummly, which integrated its data with HealthKit just a week after the platform launched; breathalyzer kiosk company BreathAdvisor; and portable gluten sensor developer 6SensorLabs, which raised $4 million a couple months ago.
Though the list of investors is small right now, D'Antino said that he thinks eventually, when more investors have experience investing in nutrition tech startups, the list of investors will likely grow.
"It's gaining a lot of attention from a media standpoint, it’s been super hyped," D'Antino said. "However the number of investors who are knowledgeable in that space at this point is very few, and therefore the amount of activity is greater than the number of investors who could invest in this technology."
He points out that nutrition-focused app companies also need to prove that they have a sustainable business model before investors are willing to invest.
Although D'Antino said that their platform is broad so they are open to a lot of different types of food companies, he added that Crowdfooding will also vet startups that are looking to be matched with investors. Crowdfooding aims to launch early next year.