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Article After years of heavy pressure on revenues in the telecom sector, we make a call for…. Sales of plant-based drinks have been growing at double-digit rates both in the US and Europe in recent years. For dairy companies, this means the pressure to enter the plant-based alternatives market and the need to further improve the sustainability of their products is expected to increase.
The move itself shouldn't really come as a surprise as plant-based food has been the talk of the town in the food industry for some years now. Vegan burger maker, Beyond Meat's IPO in showed investors, that plant-based alternatives can also walk the talk. Although retail sales of plant-based dairy alternatives are bigger than those of meat alternatives, the alternative dairy space somewhat lacked a flagship company.
But following strong sales growth, Oatly seems to be moving into that position. For traditional dairy companies, it means the pressure to enter the plant-based market has increased while it also heightens the importance to ramp up their efforts to improve the sustainability of their dairy products. In recent years, sales of plant-based drinks have been growing at double-digit rates in both the US and Europe.
Within the plant-based segment, milk alternatives stand out because they already represent a sizeable part of the overall milk market. In the US, almond drinks are the most popular plant-based drinks while in the EU soy is the most popular. But oat-based drinks have gained ground rapidly too and have for example overtaken soy as the second most popular dairy alternative in the US.
We have shown earlier the growth potential of plant-based dairy and meat products. Still, the main challenge for plant-based producers is to bring down the price gap compared to meat and dairy products, improve aspects like taste and texture and increase availability. The main challenge for plant-based producers is to bring down the price gap in comparison to meat and dairy products, improve aspects like taste and texture and increase availability.
If these companies succeed, we expect the European market for dairy alternatives to develop from a 3 billion EUR market in into a 5 billion market in Both an increase in household penetration of plant-based drinks and the possibility to branch out to adjacent categories like spreads, yoghurt and ice cream are expected to support his growth.
The growth of meat and dairy alternatives is stirring up the European food industry. While start-ups like Oatly and fast-moving consumer goods companies like the French dairy giant Danone were building the dairy alternatives category, many dairy companies followed a wait-and-see approach.
Although milk consumption in the US and EU is declining, they still experience growth in dairy products like cheese and yoghurt and exports to developing markets. Many dairy companies in Europe have only begun trialling plant-based products over the last two years and only in some of their markets. Still if they were to enter the plant-based space on a more structural basis they do have the opportunity to build on existing knowledge of consumer preferences and can benefit from existing supply chains and contracts with retailers.
The decrease in milk consumption and the growth of plant-based milk alternatives show that the era of milk as an undisputed staple food lies behind us, at least in Western markets. There is no fixed amount of time that must pass between rounds — every company decides for itself.
Likewise, it decides if it should seek venture funding or bootstrap, how many investors will be in the next round and on what terms it will trade its equity. There are no regulatory authorities on the over-the-counter market that oblige a company to disclose financial statements four times a year, the way public companies do balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement. Here investors want to profit without waiting for IPO, companies want to get big but non-toxic money, bring their product to market, capture a portion of it or tailor it to meet their needs, then go public or remain a private company.
The growing value indicates that a company is on the right track. As it progresses from one funding round to another, its valuation becomes more accurate. Gradually the public gets to know more and more information about its business: revenue numbers, customer base, growth rates. Provided, of course, founders and management want to disclose these financials. When a startup goes public, its investors in all previous funding rounds get an opportunity to cash it out.
However, in recent years companies more and more often remain private: now a startup may take years to reach IPO from its inception. Nowadays more and more people see the results of their investments in pre-IPO stocks and feel ready to invest in private companies though some years ago they invested only in publicly traded stocks. The private stocks market gradually ceases to be a a gray area with muddled rules, b a playground exclusive for large investors.
The market is gradually embracing the concept of investments in private companies even if you have a small amount of money. We at United Traders are pushing the market toward this trend: we are looking for ways to let midsize and small investors profit from investments in private stocks, and we work hard to make this process as user-friendly as possible. Most companies aspire to do an IPO. When a startup decides to go public, it employs underwriters — investment banks responsible for administering a public offering and files its prospectus with the SEC.
This startup will prepare documentation and list on a stock exchange listing. Some like Spotify, Slack do their own listing direct listing. If a company is acquired with a premium — at a higher price than it was valued before, investor will profit. The later the funding rounds, the lower the risk level for investor. When investing in the seed stage, investors believe that only a few companies from their list will take off. The rest of them will go bankrupt, and investors include this risk.
The closer a startup to an IPO, the more stable its operations, the lower risks it will go bankrupt. However, one cannot rule out such risk. Hundreds of new companies emerge every day. Picking the right time is of utmost importance to investor. In our opinion, late-stage rounds pre-IPO are one of the best such moments.
We at United Traders offer investments in startups at pre-IPO since we believe that at this stage investor has the most opportunity to make money. We ourselves invest in companies that we select for our platform because we see opportunity in profiting within an investment horizon of few years.
Most of these companies develop technologies that transform the world creating a new market around them. We are also passionate about investing in private companies because they create novel things capable of disrupting our daily life. Renting an apartment from Airbnb, taking a course through Coursera, buying Lemonade insurance or eating a plant-based burger from Impossible Foods — all this has gradually become part of our daily routine.
And investments in private companies are no longer something abstract, they too have become a reality now. View current pre-IPO investments.