As an an Alternative Investment Fund Manager and Investment Services Firm specialised in food-tech, we were keen to speak to their Founder and Managing Director, Nadav Berger to find out how the investment landscape is changing as we emerge from the current crisis and look for investment opportunities to build a more secure and resilient food system. 

As an international investor, what do you look for in a food-tech start-up partner or investment?

The key is always the CEO. For us it’s 80% of the decision!  We need to have confidence that the CEO (and their team) can execute the proposed business plan. Following that, we want to be part of companies that make a disruption (ideally with IP) in a space which can also have positive impact on the world and the opportunity is big enough to create such an impact and a return to our LP’s.

Recently there has been a lot of disruptions in business strategies. What has been the most exciting or surprising investment so far this year, despite the unprecedented challenges? What milestones are you looking for in new start-ups, given that the normal metrics aren’t really available in these strange times?

We made an investment into Tastewise in 2019 which has been so relevant to the COVID-19 situation. In these times, it has been shown just how critical it is to have real-time consumer trend insights. They even managed to stay on plan and develop a product pipeline to meet ‘new normal’ market needs. Going forward, we are working with our portfolio on improving crises management and lean budgets.

How has Covid-19 changed the food-tech start-up scene? Has it created new opportunities for agile innovators? What areas of the industry are still lacking innovation, that you would love to see more start-ups in? Are there untapped potentials?

As everyone knows, COVID-19 has significantly uprooted the food-tech space in some aspects, and also shown the resilience of the space in other senses. In some cases it has enabled companies to pivot to meet new market needs, leverage new sales channels etc. In addition, the pandemic has had the effect of accelerating previously existing trends such as improving and shortening supply chains and health-related innovations.

We also see/feel an increase in the interest in the food-tech space as people understand that what they consume/put into their bodies has a direct effect on their health and thus, ability to cope with the pandemics.

What advice would you give to a start-up looking for new partnerships / collaborations / investments?

Start-ups should identify their risks and mitigation plans and not be scared to communicate this to potential investors or partners. Particularly following COVID times it’s important for a company to be agile and be able to extend its runway when the unimaginable does happen.

Also, a start-up should choose their investors as much as the investors should choose their targets for investments.  I once gave a talk about it and the theme was “It’s your second marriage, chose well!”. I believe in it. We spend more at work than, unfortunately, at home. Start-ups don’t really do DD on their potential investors and eventually it’s very difficult to “divorce” your investor.

What will you be looking out for at Future Food-Tech this September?

Of course, we will be proudly representing PeakBridge (Nadav Berger and Erich Sieber) and our dear friend and partner Anat Binur of Ukko. Next in line, is the three themed tracks on Thursday relating to Nutrition and Health, Personalisation and Digitisation and Plant-Based Products.

We miss so much the Face to Face events as we’ve been there from the early first days. We hope those will be back soon. For us, investments are relationships based and we met some our best ones at Future Food-Tech.

Find out more about Peakbridge Partner:

Nadav will join the virtual live discussion, Investor Panel: As the Dust Settles at Future Food-Tech September 17-18.