Tag Archives: foodtech

Verdify Bags Another €800K To Scale Up Personalised Recipe Platform

Dutch foodtech company Verdify, a StartLife alumnus, has raised €800,000 on top of the €1.3 million seed funding the company obtained last December. Verdify will use the  additional funding to accelerate the market introduction of its platform for recipe personalisation and roll out an entirely new business model for nudging people towards healthy and sustainable eating.

More than 90 million consumers in the EU struggle with food challenges because of their health condition or the aspiration of a more sustainable diet. Verdify enables people to make the right food choices by providing matching and reliable meal inspiration.

Fleur Pasman - Nutrition Director of VerdifyFleur Pasman, Nutrition Director at Verdify: “We aim to make knowhow about healthy and sustainable nutrition easily applicable in daily life through smart use of technology. The extension of this funding round enables accelerated implementation of our concept to facilitate better food choices at a large scale.”

The additional capital will be provided by Brave New Food Investments and existing shareholders Brightlands Venture Partners and Joles.

Vincent van Gorkom, Partner at Brave New Food Investments: The additional capital enables Verdify to accelerate the market introduction of the platform for recipe personalisation. This entails expansion of the commercial team and reaching an increasing number of consumers. We are excited to be on board and trust the competences of the Verdify team.

Swapmeals: tailormade recipes for healthy and sustainable diets

Verdify develops innovative software for recipe personalisation. The company combines strong expertise in the life sciences, dietetics and  artificial intelligence to adapt online recipes to lifestyle and nutrient requirements. With its technology platform, Verdify unlocks the potential of personalised nutrition for consumers, healthcare and companies in the food sector.

Verdify’s website Swapmeals.com currently generates more than 40,000 monthly visits. There, the composition of any meal can be optimised by manually swapping ingredients. This can also be done fully automatically based on extensive personal nutrition profiles, in which case a nutrition score indicates the personal match with the adapted meal. The required ingredients can be ordered from affiliated food retailers. Soon, the technology will also be activated on other recipe platforms to reach vast numbers of consumers.

Verdify Raises €1.3M To Scale Its Swapmeals Platform For Personalized Recipes

Recipe personalisation technology

Over the past years Verdify has invested heavily in the development of technology for recipe personalisation. A joint effort of Verdify’s dietitians, software engineers and artificial intelligence specialists has been key to creating the platform. Now, the software can be applied to tailor virtually all recipes on the internet – fully in line with the applicable nutrition guidelines. Recipes can be converted into a plant-based or lactose-free variant, for example, or optimised for someone with heart disease, at the touch of a button.

Promoting healthy and sustainable food

Companies in the food sector can now use Verdify’s technology to let their brands appear automatically in matching recipes on frequently visited websites or ecommerce platforms. Online meal inspiration is widely used for food brand promotion but development of this type of content is resource intensive. Verdify offers a solution by matching food brands with generic ingredients in a recipe, or with their plant-based or low-salt swap alternative. This option is offered to companies with products in their portfolio that fit in a generally healthy lifestyle.

 

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifoodtech startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account and/or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife Arms Next Generation of Agrifoodtech Startups with Crucial Insights

StartLife Graduation Day Spring 22 - Team PhotoOn 23 June, a cohort of nine early-stage startups graduated from StartLife’s latest acceleration program and are now raring up to tackle global issues across the agrifood domain. StartLife also announced the launch of a new program: StartLife à la Carte.

On the graduation day, StartLife’s managing director Jan Meiling spotlighted the urgency of innovation in the agrifood space. “Two weeks ago, there was a message to the world that we’re not going to meet our climate goals,” he stated. Nonetheless, a more sustainable food system would play a crucial role in addressing this. “Therefore, we need to speed up innovation. Even if we’re just a small part of a complicated puzzle, we need to take responsibility,” Meiling urged.

From alternative proteins to waste reduction and more effective agriculture, this cohort’s startups all offer innovative means of addressing these vital questions.

Bringing goals into focus

StartLife’s acceleration program graduates highlight the connections they have gained over the last few months.

The startups flagged StartLife’s help in terms of structure. “We learned how to handle business and investment strategies and validate the market, for example,” explains Saptarshi Mukhopadhya, Development Manager at InsectSensewhich has developed a biochip that mimics insects’ extremely sensitive sense of smell.

For  Upstream Foods, which is developing cell-based fish fat, co-founder Kianti Figler says that each of StartLife’s coaches brings decades of experience that is crucial to young entrepreneurs. “We have the vision, the drive, the ambition, but to plug into that experience is great for us.”

The co-founders of Upstream Foods also agree that structure has been a key aspect of the program. “We were given an ecosystem of support that helped us grow and prioritize our focuses,” says Figler.

Everyone on the Upstream Foods team has a biotech background. They have found that the food space has a completely different culture and rhythm. “Understanding that space and market, plus getting connected with industry professionals, was very valuable for us,” Figler continues.

For Naturanova, the Chile-based company behind a computational peptide discovery platform, StartLife gave key advice about the EU’s regulatory scene:

“We’re working with companies from Europe that are also established in the US and Latin America because there are regulatory challenges that we are figuring out,” says co-founder Antonella De Lazzari.

Curating connections

“A key part of the program that helped me both personally and the company as a whole is networking,” says Mukhopadhyay. “StartLife has an extensive network in the agrifood domain, which adds a lot of value for both market validation and business opportunities. This helps understand the exact problem that is in the market, as well as potentially converting it into a business opportunity,” he continues.

For the Germany-based Organifarms, the StartLife program was very beneficial for understanding the Dutch market for farm robots and helped it gain local contacts.

“We had some early contacts, but StartLife gave us a better understanding of the market to scale up and be successful here in the Netherlands,” says CEO and co-founder Dominik Feiden. One example is connecting Organifarms with different banks to help finance equipment.

What’s coming next?

The startups are now fizzing with energy for their next steps. Upstream Foods has recently raised pre-seed funding and is now stepping into the lab to develop a proof of concept. “Our seed round will probably take place around 18 months from now, so we’re casually talking with investors to understand what it is they value,” adds Figler.

Naturannova is also at a very different stage after working with StartLife. “We can now prove high traction for our team. We’ve got a lot of homework to do with exciting challenges ahead,” says De Lazzari.

Meanwhile, InsectSense is speaking with investors to see which will align best with its strategy: “We’ve also learned that success is not just about external activities, like validation and strategy. It’s also about product development, because unless you have that, nothing else matters. Now we’re focused on real tangible product development,” explains Mukhopadhyay.

Finally, Organifarms is celebrating the release of its product demonstration video and is now carrying out pilot customer trials: “We’re showing how it works – we can prove that we’re not just talking and actually can deliver. Then we will bring the first units onto the market,” details Feiden.

Among the other graduating startups are NoA Biosciences, Gaia Tech, Lite+Fog, Groam and Next Probiotics. More information about the cohort can be found here. You can view the complete recording of StartLife’s Accelerate Spring 2022 Graduation Day below.

"The next cohort of the StartLife Accelerate program will start in September, with applications open until 19 July. Want to join? Check the StartLife Accelerate page.

Introducing “StartLife à la Carte”

The graduation day also unveiled StartLife’s latest program: StartLife à la Carte. It will allow startups to access the support they need on a fully tailored level. Informally, the support has been in place for some time already but has been kept under wraps until now. 

Each year, StartLife takes up to 40 new startups under its wing. While around half enter its acceleration program each spring and fall, personalized tailored support is also given to about 10 to 20 individual startups throughout the year.

 “Although I had fun referring to our ‘secret program’ when talking to startups, it made more sense to also get this program out in the open,” says Bram van Beek, StartLife’s Marketing & Communications Manager.

Loet Rammelsberg, StartLife’s Program Director adds that making connections is a central focus within the program.

“In the end, connections are what matters most – and that’s why most startups don’t make it. They might end up building something that nobody needs. There’s a nice combination in connecting investor and corporate feedback with the new technology startups bring to the table,” he details.

 

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account and/or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

StartLife Selects 9 Early-stage Startups Targeting Global Agrifood Challenges

StartLife has selected nine new (very) early-stage startups to join its eighth acceleration program this spring. The startups have been selected for their promising technological solutions to tackling global agrifood challenges, including sustainable farming, food waste prevention and the protein transition.

 REGISTER FOR GRADUATION DAY, 23 JUNE

The startups selected will enter StartLife’s 3-month acceleration program, which is entirely dedicated to guiding foodtech and agtech startups in validating their business, raising funding and accelerating their impact. Loet Rammelsberg, StartLife’s program director, is excited to start StartLife’s eighth cohort, which will have some extra challenges.

Rammelsberg, “Though StartLife’s acceleration program is already fully tailored to early-stage agrifoodtech startups, this cohort includes numerous very early-stage startups. The companies and their technologies are, so to speak, yet to be born. However, considering their highly promising solutions and the great teams, we are confident as to the potential impact and their chances for success.”

Smart, sustainable food and ag technologies

For its spring 2022 program, StartLife received a record number of applications from startups all over the world. For the first time ever, even from five continents. Rammelsberg, “This underlines the fact that worldwide a growing number of entrepreneurial talents are dedicated to providing novel solutions that tackle our global challenges in food and agriculture.”

The following startups, including StartLife’s very first Latin-American startup, are fortunate to be accepted into the acceleration program. And StartLife is proud to have them onboard and to be working with them.

Foodtech

  • Naturannova (Chile)– plant protein discovery platform for the design of tailor-made ingredients
  • NoA Biosciences (Netherlands)– Fermentation of woody biomass into alternative protein for feed and food
  • Upstream Foods (Netherlands) – Animal-free, cell-based fish fat to improve plant-based protein

Agtech

  • Gaia Tech (Switzerland) – Valorization of high-value food, feed and pharmaceutical ingredients from olive oil by-products
  • Organifarms (Germany) – farming robots for indoor farms, starting with a strawberry harvester
  • Lite+Fog (Germany)– Novel vertical farming setup using fogponics and textile-based technology

Agbio & Biobased tech

  • Groam (Switzerland)– Provider of sustainable foamed biomaterials
  • InsectSense (Netherlands) – Insect-behavioral based technological solutions
  • Next Probiotics (Israel) – Technology enabling the growing of vegetables and fruits rich in probiotics

Join StartLife’s virtual Demo Day on 23 June

In the coming months, the startups will sharpen their business case, improve their technologies and prepare for (further) investments.

On June 23rd, the startups will conclude the program with a live (virtual) presentation to a global audience of investors, corporates, partners and other agrifoodtech enthusiasts. Those who are interested in joining the Graduation Day (Demo Day), in person in Wageningen or online, can register here or via the form below.  All people registered will automatically have access to the online streaming and the recordings that become available after the event.

In Person Venue
Wageningen Campus | Plus Ultra II Building
Bronland 10-D
6708 WH Wageningen
Netherlands

Online Venue
Crowdcast

powered by Crowdcast

 

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

Verdify Raises €1.3M To Scale Its Swapmeals Platform For Personalized Recipes

verdify-swapmeals

Startlife alumnus Verdify has raised €1.3 million financing from Brightlands Venture Partners, Joles and the company’s founders. The investment will be used by Verdify to scale up its Swapmeals recipe platform that enables consumers to get tailored meal inspiration based on personal nutrition profiles.

This round follows last year’s capital injection of €750,000 for developing and launching the platform in the UK and The Netherlands. Jochem Bossenbroek, CEO at Verdify said: “In our endeavor to create lasting impact on people’s lives through healthy and sustainable eating we have found a strong companion in Brightlands Venture Partners. With the new investment and access to this innovative ecosystem we can not only scale up, but also build a bridge between the food sector and healthcare domain”.

Recipes adapted to individual nutrition needs

Consumers are increasingly on the lookout for a healthy and sustainable diet but struggle with the complexity of food choices. Verdify aims to tackle this issue by providing truly personalized recipe inspiration. This is accomplished on Swapmeals.com where recipes automatically adapt to consumers’ individual nutrition profiles. Personal parameters such as health conditions, food allergies, activity levels, lifestyle, location and taste preferences can be factored in.

Swapmeals® offers an enabling environment where the healthy and sustainable food choice becomes the default. The personal nutrition profiles can be easily created by consumers on the Verdify website and activated on Swapmeals.com to find fully personalized and shoppable recipes.

Algorithm automatically rewrites recipe instructions

Under the hood of the platform is Verdify’s recipe personalization engine that can map the composition of virtually all recipes on the internet and tailor them according to consumer nutrition profiles. A proprietary swapping algorithm replaces non-matching ingredients with suitable alternatives whilst another algorithm ‘rewrites’ the recipe instructions according to the new composition. The software makes sure the result is still tasty and nutritious.

Verdify can enable personalization on any other recipe platform with its engine, as well as link recipes to the digital shopping basket of local retailers.

Scaling up to healthcare domain

The investment will be used for scaling up the Swapmeals® platform, including introduction of the concept into the healthcare domain. This will enable consumers to receive nutritional advice from dietitians and medical professionals directly in their Verdify nutrition profile. Furthermore, it will be possible to enrich the profile with data from wearables and biomarker tests. Besides that, Verdify can support companies in the food industry by promoting their brands in personalized recipes on Swapmeals® – creating a podium for products that Verdify endorses.

Founder Story of Verdify: Better Health Through AI And Personalized Nutrition

“Verdify is a forerunner”

Kim de Boer, Partner at Brightlands Venture Partners believes Verdify responds to a clear and logical market need in personalized nutrition. “This is a fast scalable business in which Verdify is a forerunner. Brightlands Venture Partners is an ecosystem investor and we believe that the interaction of the company with the Brightlands ecosystem in the field of personalized nutrition and available AI knowledge will be beneficial for the company’s time to market and chances of success”.

p.s. Stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scale-ups and more via StartLife’s Linkedin or Twitter account or via the StartLife newsletter (8x a year).

F&A Next Presents ‘Eight Next Heroes In Food & AgTech 2020’

F&A Next 'Next Heroes in Food- and Agtech 2020'

For the fifth year in a row StartLife is one of the leading organizers of the international agrifood event F&A Next.  Together with Foodbytes! by Rabobank eight most promising startups have been selected as this years’ ‘Next Heroes in Food & AgTech’. On May 13, they will pitch their innovations during a (free) live webinar of F&A Next to an international audience of agrifood investors, corporates, media and fellow entrepreneurs.

The eight startups were selected from a record number of applications. The applications came from 29 countries, from Sweden to Australia and from Hong Kong to the United States. Most solutions were in machine learning (28%), artificial intelligence (25%) and digital platforms (23%).

Next Heroes in FoodTech 2020

The following four startups have been selected as the F&A Next ‘Next Heroes in FoodTech 2020’. Join the live webinar to view their pitches.

 |  FUMI Ingredients (The Netherlands) : Develops functional food ingredients from microorganisms. The novel animal-free ingredients work as egg replacers and have no allergens. The production process allows a carbon footprint reduction of over 90% compared to conventional egg-white production.
 |  Connecting Food (France) : Tracks and digitally audits food products in real-time from farm to fork. The blockchain solution maps food supply chains and improve internal traceability. They also help brands and retailers improve their external transparency via a QR code & storytelling.
 |  COGZ (UK) : Offers a B2B online marketplace for food & beverage manufacturers and processors to buy surplus produce directly from farmers and growers. COGZ’s technology saves time, increases profitability and prevents food waste in primary production.
 |  Verdify (The Netherlands) : Enables companies active in the food domain to personalize their recipes for individual customers, supporting prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Their digital platform fully personalizes meal recipes according to guideline-based medical diets, biomarkers and individual preferences.

Next Heroes in AgTech 2020

The following four startups have been selected as the F&A Next ‘Next Heroes in AgTech 2020’. Join the live webinar to view their pitches.

 |  Evologic Technologies (Austria) : Produces microbial bioactives (biostimulants and biopesticides) for seed distributors, thanks to its proprietary production platform technology. This allows distributors sell an upgraded product to farmers.
 |  Pebble Labs (USA) : Develops solutions to safely and sustainably increase natural crop yield and food security. Its mission is to develop breakthrough disruptive technologies that address the greatest agricultural, aquaculture, and environmental challenges facing the globe.
 |  FarmRaise (USA) : Unlocks public and private funding for farmers through cataloguing each grower’s unique options and simplifying the funding application process. FarmRaise makes it easy for farmers to invest in their operations today and steward their assets for future generations.
 |  Edete (Israel) : Offers a high-efficiency artificial pollination service solution for companies and growers. By reducing the deficiencies of erratic and dwindling insect-based pollination, Edete’s controlled and manageable solution has been proven to increase the yield of almond orchards.

Impact of the Coronavirus on the agrifood industry

F&A Next normally is a 2-day in-person event taking place in Wageningen (NL). Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the event is going digital, offering a live webinar on May 13th for free. For obvious reasons the impact of the Coronavirus on the agrifood industry has become a main theme. Top executives and opinion leaders discuss the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on business and consumer behavior. A panel of global investors will openly discuss if and how the current crisis affects investment decisions. And the above eight startups will pitch their innovations.

Join F&A Next Live Webinar for free

Registration is open to agrifood investors, corporates, media and fellow startups. Check the full webinar program here.

RESERVE YOUR FRONT ROW SEAT FOR F&A NEXT LIVE WEBINAR

 

p.s. You can also follow StartLife on LinkedinTwitter or stay up to date with the latest news about and for agrifood startups, scaleups and more via the StartLife newsletter.

Personalized Nutrition Planning Platform Verdify Has Launched

Screenshot website Verdify 13-10-2020

After two years of preparation and development nutrition startup Verdi Food has launched their platform for evidence-based personalized nutrition planning: Verdify. The platform empowers patients with a chronic medical condition to easily implement medically prescribed diets in their daily routine. Verdify will also soon be integrated with a large Dutch supermarket. This will allow users to order recipe ingredients directly via their application. A great start for this promising startup that is part of the StartLife community since 2018.

Effortless nutrition planning

People who have considered following a health-related nutrition program or diet know what a daunting task this can be. A growing number of companies try to solve this problem by means of applications that provides customized meal plans. However, most of these applications are limited in their flexibility to the user – offering meal recipes that do not fully meet individual preferences and nutritional needs. As a result, these companies fail to solve the real challenge that people encounter after having received dietary advice. The nutrition startup Verdi Food may have struck gold by developing a truly smart and evidence-based solution.

Verdify: a smart, personalized nutrition planning platform

Verdi Food generated a software engine that automatically adapts virtually any meal recipe to a detailed personal nutrition and health profile – including food preferences, allergies, medical diets and in 2020 biomarker outcomes (blood, microbiome) as well. Meanwhile, taste, nutritional value and fit with the recipe is safeguarded. The company designed the engine to accommodate the full spectrum of patient needs. By doing so they go far beyond what is possible with other meal planning apps.

The application is great for all to use, but most of all for patients with a chronic medical condition. It is developed to be a highly convenient tool for patients to plan, purchase and prepare healthy meals that fit into a personal diet prescribed by healthcare providers. To ensure that meals meet specific health conditions Verdify works with evidence-based diets only. And for each medical indication its approach is verified with medical experts.

Scaling up fast

The first version of Verdify is made ready for people with food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and hypertension. The nutrition startup intends to demonstrate the potential of the personalized recipe service first in these domains and then scale up further. They expect to go fast forward in the coming months, so they already prepare for a first external funding round.

Jochem Bossenbroek, co-founder and CEO of Verdi Food, accredits StartLife for an invaluable contribution to the development of Verdify: “The coaching and feedback of StartLife has supported us in adopting a fully evidence-based approach, positioning Verdify in such manner that it can be used as an extension of current medical practice.