Empowering Food Evolution – Highlights of the McWin Funds 2024 Annual Investor Meeting

The spotlight has shone brightly on Madrid over past few weeks. Music sensation Taylor Swift descended upon the Spanish capital for a date on her Eras Tour. Real Madrid once again won the Champions League and paraded the trophy through the streets of the city culminating with a celebration in front of the fans at their home stadium.

Whilst these two talents lit up the Santiago Bernabeu, another group of innovators and game-changers gathered just a kilometre away for the McWin Funds second Annual Investor Meeting.

Over 200 investors, portfolio company executives and other partners gathered to hear McWin Capital’s overview of a very active 2023, but more importantly to hear some insights as to what McWin Capital and the  portfolio companies of the funds it advises have in store for 2024 and beyond.

McWin Capital’s co-founder Steven Winegar, as investment advisor to the funds, kicked off the event with an energetic preview of the agenda and theme for this year’s meeting – Empowering Food Evolution. Indeed, that premise was central to the day. McWin Capital is not only identifying great, growing companies, it truly believes each of them are world leaders in transforming the future of what, how, when and where we eat.

McWin Capital’s Troy Weeks, Harry Goss and Martin Davalos provided an outline of their activities within the foodservice and food technology sectors before handed the microphone over to several portfolio company leaders to round out the pre-lunch programme.

Brendan Somerville walked through how Oishii is innovating in vertical farming to become a world-leading producer of premium-grade strawberries and develop a pipeline of other crops free from pesticides, the unpredictability and environmental impact of traditional farming.

Arturo Elizondo told us how he founded Every – a biotechnology company revolutionizing the formulation and production of animal-free, animal proteins – and is taking the science across the globe and becoming a trusted ingredient partner to many of the world’s most recognized consumer brands. At the end of the presentation, McWin Capital’s co-founder Henry McGovern donned his best chef’s gear and conducted a cooking demonstration using an Every Egg, and several volunteers from the audience gave it top marks!

Marta Pogroszewska then took the audience through the incredible GAIL’s Bakery story – a journey that went from a single location in London’s Hampstead neighbourhood looking to build a community around premium baked goods and specialty coffee to an absolute force of nature aiming to achieve over 140 locations by the end of next year.

Catcher’s Gustavo Garcia Brusilovsky presented on how the company is the next frontier in the food delivery explosion. Catcher operates a first-of-its-kind B2B last-mile delivery marketplace that connects restaurants with delivery drivers, providing more choices and better economics for operators, drivers and consumers.

Olo Danielewicz told us how the Rex Concepts platform is bringing more Burger King, Popeye’s and Subway franchises to Central and Eastern Europe, breaking records for footfall and sales.

In the last pre-lunch session, we welcomed Joost Bakx from Footprint to the stage to discuss how the company is contributing towards a healthier planet through best-in-class biodegradable, compostable and recyclable food packaging to replace single and short-term use plastics.

The lunch break allowed attendees to network over some delicious tapas and refreshments, including Big Mamma’s Tigramisu, and provided them with an opportunity to taste Oishii’s delicious strawberries as well as Every’s animal-free, vegan egg-protein macaroons and the world’s first protein enriched cold brew coffee, using Every egg protein.

The afternoon programme resumed with an energetic presentation from Tigrane Seydoux of Big Mamma Group. Tigrane operates some of the most loved Italian restaurant concepts in France, UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, and his team have creatively and successfully imported the best Italian ingredients, Italian talent and the Italian experience to its restaurants.

Mateo Marietti from CookUnity then took over to describe how his company is promoting the circular economy by creating a leading ready-to-eat subscription model company operating in seven cities in the United States. With over 1 million meals sold per month, the company is ripe for expansion.

Then, the first of our two panels took over the stage, as Martin Davalos led a panel of operators and providers, discussing how technology is revolutionising restaurant operations. Savneet Singh from PAR Technology, Marta Pogroszewska from GAIL’s and Kevin Meert from Sunday discussed everything from point-of-sale to loyalty programme management to AI, and improving the experience for both consumers and operators and setting the stage for the restaurant of the future.

Andreas Karlsson was next on stage, discussing one of the McWin Funds newest portfolio company partners, Sticks’n’Sushi. Andreas walked the audience through the company’s humble beginnings in Copenhagen to become one of Europe’s best experiences blending traditional sushi with grilled sticks – Japanese cuisine with Danish style.

As the last session of the day before, our foodservice panel had their work cut out for them after the audience had their appetites worked up. However, Harry Goss kept the enthusiasm high, leading a discussion with Andreas Karlsson, Tigrane Seydoux and Henry McGovern about what the future of restaurants would look like. Henry closed the conversation with a passion for the direction of the industry and the opportunities the Funds portfolio of innovators are creating and the solutions they are providing.

The event closed with more networking over dinner and drinks, concluding another successful McWin Annual Investor Meeting. See you all next year! 

About McWin Capital Partners

McWin is a private investment advisory firm co-founded by Henry McGovern and Steven K. Winegar that partners with exceptional founders and CEOs driving sustainable disruption, principally in the foodservice and food technology sectors.

McWin Capital Partners and affiliates have assets under advisory of over €1b investing in the global foodservice and food technology sectors at growth and mature stages. McWin Capital Partners advised foodservice investments include Gail’s and White Rabbit in the UK, Big Mamma in France, L’Osteria in Germany and several other restaurant groups across Europe. McWin Capital Partners advised food technology investments include alternative protein companies The EVERY Company, Impossible Foods and UPSIDE Foods, sustainable packaging company Footprint and vertical farming company, Oishii. The majority of the senior team, including the two founding partners of McWin Capital Partners, are veterans of the food industry.

Important Notice   

McWin Advisors UK Limited (“McWin Capital Partners” or “McWin Capital”) is registered in England and Wales under Company Number 14109179. McWin Advisors UK Limited is an Appointed Representative of G10 Capital Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 648953). The McWin Funds’ (“McWin Funds” or “McWin”) mentioned within this release refer to the McWin Food Ecosystem Fund I SCSp and McWin Food Tech Fund I SCSp and the investor event was held for investors across all named funds. McWin Funds are only available to Professional Investors within the United Kingdom and Retail Investors may not rely on the information within. This is not an offer to sell, or an invitation for an offer to acquire, an interest in the Fund, nor is it an invitation to apply to participate in the Fund. This is not an offering or placement of interests in the Fund in any jurisdiction and should not be construed as such. No information in this document will form the basis of any contract.