In the first-ever food-tech Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), SavorEat (TASE: SVRT) has raised NIS 42.6 million (about $13 million) from leading Israeli institutional investors. The offering attracted large demand from investors, including Gemel and Meitav Dash and Gemel Pensions. The company's valuation for the offering was NIS 170 million ($50 million) before money. The offering was led by Psagot Privident and conducted by Leumi Partners Underwriters, which also as underwriters exercised its pricing for the offering, and was supported by Horn & Co. Law Offices.
SavorEat was founded in 2018 by CEO Racheli Vizman, Chief Scientist Prof. Oded Shosayev, and Prof. Ido Braslevsky. The company works with a team of senior consultants and leading partners including the BBB Group. The company's technology is based on research conducted at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture, and according to an exclusive commercialization license from the University's Yissum technology transfer company.
SavorEat has developed technology for producing meat alternatives, which combines ingredients from an innovative plant based formula, a smart robot that allows producing meat alternatives using 3D printing, and roasting the product using advanced cooking methods.
The company can produce and cook products that imitate the taste and texture of meat (including fat, sinew and fibers). SavorEat has filed a patent claim in several countries including the US, EU and Australia for its 3D food printing manufacturing method. SavorEat believes that the important advantages offered by its technology include supply chain efficiency and the personal adaptation of products to the individual consumer's preferences, untouched by human hands. The company's first product focuses on the development of a plant based hamburger and the technology that the company has developed should allow potential for other sustainable products.
The company has also signed a cooperation agreement with the BBB chain, which includes consultancy in developing the products and installing the systems in the chain's kitchens as part of the development process. Installation of the systems represents the first pilot project of its kind in Israel and will allow the company to test their marketing outside of Israel.
The food-tech industry is coping with several main challenges in its efforts to produce quality meat alternatives. The challenges include: producing meat-like textures for a genuine meat consumer experience, lengthening the shelf life without adding synthetic ingredients and preservatives, food safety, and allergens like gluten etc. SavorEat's new technology copes with most of these challenges: the company's developments will enable the creation of a meat eating experience through a range of textures that simulate meat with high precision. Other advantages are the ability to individually adapting the composition of each serving to the personal preference and health of the customer, and create products that do not contain other allergens (like gluten), preservatives, and/or other genetic changes. The company's technology also allows high food safety and a longer shelf life requiring more convenient logistic and storage conditions at room temperature.
SavorEat is the first portfolio company of the Millennium Food-Tech R&D Partnership, which invested $2.5 million. Millennium Food-Tech has recorded a quick profit with its holdings estimated at more than three times the value of its investment. The total capital raised by the company before the IPO amounted to $5.5 million, of which about $3 million was by the Mor and Meitav Dash investment houses.
SavorEat CEO Racheli Vizman said, "We believe that SavorEat brings genuine good news to the meat alternatives market through the unique technology that we are developing. Our worldview is that only alternative tastiness, quality and healthiness to meat will succeed in leading to the desired change in reducing meat consumption. We are grateful to our investors who have shown belief in our vision, technology and professional team. We are only at the beginning of our journey and we are certain that the current capital raising will greatly contribute to the development of the company and allow the presentation of many innovations in the future.
SavorEat Chief Scientist Prof. Oded Shosayev added, "SavorEat's technology is a significant step towards individually adapted food, the cutting of food manufacturing costs, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and a better future for the planet."
SavorEat cofounder Prof. Ido Braslevsky said, "SavorEat is the result on an innovative breakthrough that took its first steps with us in academia and together with business and technological leadership has paved the way to the food market with the promise of promoting healthier nutrition for consumers."
2019 was a year of breakthrough and change for plant-based food manufacturers with a significant rise in plant-based alternative meat consumption, especially with vegan hamburgers, which generated enormous interest among consumers. Between 2017 and 2019, retail sales of plant-based meat grew about 31%, while retail sales of meat in the US grew by only 5%. SavorEat is operating in a market that is growing at a rapid rate: according to international sources including Barclays Investment Bank - the meat alternatives market has so far been worth $14 billion in annual revenue in 2020 - 1% of the overall meat market - while in 2029, it is forecast to be worth $140 billion, and will represent 10% of the overall meat market.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 25, 2020
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