Valley Much Money
On the plate of many venture capitalists of Silicon Valley is no longer just technology, but they are also making big bets on food. For some, their goals might be to create ready to make dinner sets such as those in the picture above, create on-demand delivery services from local farms, or even create entirely new meat, cheese, and egg substitutes from plants. Whatever their goals are, because this is Silicon Valley money, their vision is nothing short of grand: to transform the food industry. “Part of the reason you’re seeing all these V.C.’s get interested in this is the food industry is not only is it massive, but like the energy industry, it is terribly broken in terms of its impact on the environment, health, animals,” said Josh Tetrick, founder and chief executive of Hampton Creek Foods, a start-up making egg alternatives. With the money of V.C’s something can be done to improve upon what we have now.
In 2008, $50 million was invested into food projects, but this year around $350 million has been invested by venture capitalists. In terms of sustainability, “There are pretty significant environmental consequences and health issues associated with sodium or high-fructose corn syrup or eating too much red meat,” said Samir Kaul, a partner at Khosla Ventures, who has so far invested in six food start ups. “I wouldn’t bet my money that Cargill or ConAgra are going to innovate here. I think it’s going to take start-ups to do that.”
Written by Kevin Zhang