Some of these startups aim to connect restaurants with food lovers, provide on-demand delivery services from local farms, or even invent new foods, like meat and egg substitutes from plants, Jenna Wortham and Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times reports.
One analyst, Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group, is skeptical about the long-term promise of food startups.
"I don't see a multimillion-dollar business coming out of any of these companies," Etlinger told the NYT. "The majority of Americans will not likely be able to participate, they're simply too expensive for them."
Etlinger's sentiments prompted an angry response from Vinod Khosla. a widely respected venture capitalist with investments in companies like GroupMe, Slide, AppNexus, and Jawbone. Khosla is the founder of Sun Microsystems, a former partner at Kleiner Perkins, and the founder of Khosla Ventures.
"Typical clueless analyst who never did anything real herself," Khosla tweeted.
Khosla Ventures has invested in a half-dozen food startups like Nu-Tek Salt, a company working on a replacement to salt with less sodium, and Unreal, a company working on low-sugar alternatives to candy, snacks, and soda.
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