Luck is not a business model*

While for most of the last decade the integration of tech in F&B primarily focused on food delivery and restaurant booking, the last few years have witnessed a new path being drawn for foodtech in MENA, with founders exploring upwards of the value chain, while continuing to redefine how we think of “Food” along the way. 

Arguably, foodtech companies may have been some of the most challenged during 2020, where “luck” was the variable most quickly subtracted from the startup success equation. The pandemic has also exacerbated inefficiencies across the industry as a whole and perhaps even accelerated interest in efficiency and sustainability. That being said, the MENA region has a substantial opportunity to serve as an innovation hub for foodtech, by not only participating but potentially playing a leading role in solving major pain points within the food industry. 

We look at the drivers behind innovation in the space and what verticals have witnessed increased activity, in both development and funding. These verticals include opportunities that support the expansion of food brands (both physically and digitally), increased integration of tech across the customer journey, and bringing food ever-closer to consumers.

By no means is this document comprehensive, it is a work in progress, meant to help us think through some of the trends shaping up, and changing our economies.

Ghassan Noursi is Venture Lead at Nuwa Capital.

*Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian. Artwork: Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks”, 1942

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