As a food start-up, to find money, buyers and a partner in order to launch a real business, RBC tried to figure it out.
Small startups food is difficult to find investments and by the scale: in addition to the money to start a full-scale business needs, such as the ability to work with large and small flows of visitors, with retail chains, restaurants, understand the technology of production.
The venture capital funds an entrepreneur who wants to sell the most delicious sandwiches, honey-cream with nuts or even start production of organic yoghurts, go useless: they work mostly with fundamental innovations, preferring to IT, Biomed, e-commerce or "iron". If they are interested in food, and start-ups, the main service, such as food delivery.
"If we are talking about a food startup, which is based on not the point of supply and service, then find the money is quite simple - we just have to start, and investors themselves will come with proposals", - says the director of marketing for a startup for the delivery of food "Hunger" Timurmalik Elmurad. Another option - start, similar to the American Soylent, - powder which, as promised, to replace the food at all.
But if a startup has come up with, for example, how to replace a chemical additive with some natural ingredient, or has invented a new method of producing rapeseed oil, then it has a direct road to the Generation S accelerator - a project of the Russian Venture Company. This year he has a new direction - AgroBioTech & Food, which is supervised by one of the largest oil and fat factories in Russia - EFKO company, which everyone knows by the brand of mayonnaise "Sloboda".
“Our company is looking for new drivers of growth, including projects that, due to conceptual solutions, can improve production efficiency or can become the basis for launching new business areas,” says Tatyana Sanina, General Director of the Biryuch-NT innovation center (R&D center EFKO) ... - First of all, we are talking about innovations in the field of industrial biotechnology and food production, so we actively cooperate with startups. Somewhere we give the guys recommendations on how to adjust the project so that it starts making a profit. If we see good commercial potential and an effective team, then we are ready to help attract investments or provide such teams with the widest opportunities for growth and development within our company. " According to Sanina, last year EFKO acted as an industrial partner of the BiotechMed track and found several interesting teams for itself. This year, the company continued its cooperation with the accelerator - this time within the framework of the AgroBioTech & Food track.
More "human" businesses are taking the center of the culinary startups Mabius, who created in 2014, the co-owner of another major manufacturer, Nizhny Novgorod plant fats and oils (NMGK), and Russian partner Asian agribusiness Wilmar International Ltd holding Ivan Sidorok. Now Mabius change of partners, instead of the accelerator NMGK involved one of the largest agro-industrial complexes - the company "Agrico" (as long as the industrial partner). Ivan Sidorok remains the owner of the accelerator, but now it is his personal project.
This invite producers of bakery products, cereals, desserts, pastries, sweets, snacks, sauces. In the center of Moscow operates a laboratory where you can "run" the idea of production and technology. In addition, the accelerator promise to help deal with the documents and packaging. Instead Mabius creates a promising company Ltd. and takes it to a fraction of the 5 50%.
The Mabius portfolio includes Marc & Fissa, in which the accelerator has invested 3 million rubles. and which can be seen on store shelves. Now Mabius has withdrawn from the project - the owner of Marc & Fisa Alexandra Shaforost decided to develop the project herself, and Mabius converted the investment into a loan. Now the accelerator is actively promoting a new project: canned food from Kamchatka king crab by the chef and director of the Mabius center Andrey Ryvkin - King Claw.
"We can help our projects to enter Chinese retail, which is worth a lot. This is our main goal - to use Russian innovative ideas and raw materials, which now, after the fall of the national currency, is very cheap, certified in Europe, but sold in China. Enter the China now dreams the whole world, "- says Ivan Sidorok. Another reason for the orientation of the sales market to China, explains the owner of Mabius, is that in Russia the premium products market falls sharply and narrows to the size of the Garden Ring. According to him, now the accelerator selected five projects for test incubation, including sauces, snacks for athletes and granola from sprouted buckwheat.
PARTY FOR FOOD
For startups in Moscow is one of the easiest ways to test your business - participation in food supermarkets or access to the food court in shopping centers and markets. It was there that the community is formed, which then helps to find new sites for the promotion of business and private investors, and the idea for the joint promotion of products.
One of the most famous sites is the "Local Meal" market, unobvious, but quite working variants - the Danilov market or the "Ekomarket" in Konkovo. Money will not be given here, but for a small fee the start-up will receive a platform where it will be able to test its product on real consumers. "It's exactly as to the test, we ask participants to approach the event," says Anastasia Gromova, manager of the local food project. - Anyone can apply for the market, but the best will be able to get there. " Participants undergo two stages of selection: visual (description, photo, activity in social networks) and tasting.
In the summer of the year 2016 was launched pop-up «Local Food" - project, which is to combine major restaurateurs, investors, landlords and food startups who want to open Corners in restaurants and shops, a point on the covered markets, the islands in business centers. With strategic partners who provide rent, discusses the conditions of each individual: the strategy can bring profits as rent, and the share of profit or revenue.
“Testing your business opportunities on such a site is really important, especially for catering outlets, because most often new restaurant projects are opened by people without specialized education who have come from completely different industries,” says Sergey Mironov, co-owner of the Meat & Ryba restaurant. , founder of RestConsult. This kind of cooperation solves several problems at once and sometimes costs more than money, because even if your product is very good, getting into large supermarket or restaurant chains is very difficult.
The producer of the drink "Phytoguru", the owner of the market "Ecommarket" and the chain of stores "City-Garden" Daria Lisichenko tells how she herself was faced with the fact that although with a new product it was easy to get to the shelves of large retail chains, the networks were not seen in healthy Nutrition a great perspective. Daria decided for a nominal fee to give food-starters the corners at Ecommarket on the weekends: they offered new types of desserts, cooking, chocolate, meeting the concept of healthy eating. "There were several business objectives: firstly, the assortment of the market expanded. Secondly, these corners attracted to him a fundamentally different audience. Third, traffic grew during the weekend, "says Daria Lisichenko. According to her, she did not have to look for startups: old connections in the startup party and word of mouth worked.
Elena Ponomareva, editor of the portal “Biboss” “At food festivals it is easy to get lost among a variety of unusual products, but if you find a platform for yourself in some famous restaurant or conceptual cafe, you have the option to be noticed, and therefore you can find a potential investor” .
Daniil Mordovskaya, Managing Director of the Delivery Club “When the product has reached an acceptable quality, you can already start calling restaurants, look for those responsible for the assortment and arrange a personal meeting. I would try to arrange a tasting and show my product to the maximum number of people. ”
Olga Zinovyeva, founder of the food startup Elementaree “If you are creative and ambitious, try to participate in the reality show on television“ Business Sharks ”. This is a kind of competition where entrepreneurs present their ideas and try to convince the jury of investors to finance the project. I was a participant of this show, and one of the jury members became the investor of the second round. ”
￼DENGI to feed
In 2016, several large transactions took place on the foodtech start-up market (projects that work at the intersection of food and e-commerce, most often in the field of food delivery): - Elementaree food designer received $ 500 thousand from a private investor in the third round of investments (earlier rounds for $ 200 thousand and $ 300 thousand were closed); - Food delivery service on request "Hunger" attracted seed investments in the amount of $ 50 thousand from a private investor; - ShefMarket, a delivery service for ingredients and products, attracted $ 1,3 million from the Russian venture capital fund AddVenture and the Japanese fund Mitsui & Co within the fourth round of investments; - Foodfox restaurant food delivery service raised $ 1 million from Target Global venture capital fund.
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