björn_witte Blue Horizon

Bjöern Witte © Blue Horizon

Blue Horizon: “The Wave of Innovation That Will Be Rolling Towards Us in the Coming Years is Huge”

Bjoern Witte, Managing Partner and CEO of Blue Horizon, gives his insights into the world of alternative protein investments, the company’s plans for 2023, and his thoughts as to the future of the category. What does your current portfolio look like; in which new companies did you invest in 2022? We see a lot of very innovative companies that we source through our Seed portfolio which sort of acts like our finger on the pulse of the industry. One example of a new company we invested in this year would be Arkeon, an Austrian company that produces proteins from carbon dioxide. Arkeon’s technology makes it possible to convert CO2 directly into all 20 amino acids that are essential for human nutrition. At the same time, …


PeaTos Snacks


PeaTos Closes Oversubscribed Series A3 Round and Launches into US Walmart Stores

Plant-based snack brand PeaTos announces it has closed an oversubscribed Series A3 round led by POST Holdings, and is launching into several hundred US Walmart stores nationwide. The brand says the Series A funds will enable it to continue challenging the dominance of snack giant Frito Lay, which PeaTos accuses of monopolizing the salty snack category with unhealthy ingredients.  “While the amount of money we raised is a rounding error to Frito Lay, we are extremely proud of this show of strong show of support from our investors, as well as retailers and consumers, who believe in our important mission,” said PeaTos founder Nick Desai. Great strides He added, “Even in today’s challenging fundraising environment, there is still a strong demand for a compelling and …


Actor Idris Elba and Huel CEO James McMaster

Actor Idris Elba & Huel's CEO James McMaster © Huel

Huel Raises €24M in Funding Round Backed by Idris Elba & Other Celebrities

Nutritionally complete food specialist Huel has raised €24 million in a funding round to continue its mission of providing sustainable nutrition for all. The new investment will support the company’s R&D, product innovation, online and retail scale-up, and international expansion focused on the US market. Highland Europe led the round, joined by a group of celebrity investors including actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Dor Elba (both UN Goodwill Ambassadors). Other participants included TV presenter Jonathan Ross and Grace Beverley, CEO of sustainable activewear brand TALA. The new investment gives the company a valuation of over €540 million. James McMaster, CEO of Huel, said, “Highland Europe has been a strong backer for our business in the last four years, and we’re delighted about the extra …



© Perfect Day

Perfect Day Acquires Sterling Biotech and Receives First Regulatory Approval in India

Alt-dairy pioneer Perfect Day announces it has acquired Sterling Biotech Limited (SBL) in India, whose state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities will double Perfect Day’s production capacity in the near term. In addition, India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority has approved the company’s application for its animal-free milk proteins, opening the door for commercialization in India.  By purchasing Sterling Biotech, Perfect Day says its production capability will double with the addition of four high-value manufacturing assets, including robust precision fermentation that will allow it to expand fermentation capacity in the coming months while continuing to serve existing SBL customers.  The facilities also are outfitted for other premium, pharmaceutical-grade ingredient production, including gelatin and dicalcium phosphate, which Perfect Day says is part of its mission to expand beyond animal-free …


Flave restaurant burgers, nuggets and salads on top a table.

© Flave

Australia’s Flave Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Fuel International Expansion

Flave, an Australian plant-based burger and healthy bowls restaurant in Sydney, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support its goal of expanding across Australia and internationally.   Investors will receive equity ownership “in the hottest food movement going,” says Flave, adding that investments can range from $50 to over $100,000. The campaign is being conducted via Birchal, an Australian equity crowdfunding platform. Star-studded cast Samantha Cook, Flave’s co-founder & co-CEO, said, “As an investor, you will be joining a star-studded cast of champions, including Beyoncé’s former personal chef and the same management team that scaled restaurant chain Zambrero to over 100 locations. On top, you will be joining leaders from Australia’s most successful food brands, such as Milky Lane, Betty’s Burgers, Guzman y Gomez, and Grill’d.” …


MeliBio Naryan Plant-Based Honey

©MeliBio/ Naryan Foods

MeliBio Raises $2.2M and Partners with Narayan Foods to Bring Plant-Based Honey to European Market

MeliBio, the world’s first company creating real honey without bees, announces it has raised an additional $2.2M in investments and is partnering with Narayan Foods, an organic foods leader, to launch its products in 75,000 European stores. Through the first-of-its-kind partnership, Narayan will sell MeliBio’s plant-based honey under the Better Foodie brand, with the first products shipping out in early 2023.  According to MeliBio, retailers throughout Europe have shown strong demand for the honey, which will also be available for private label opportunities, using MeliBio’s technology and Narayan Foods’ operational capabilities. “As a food innovation platform, Narayan Foods is constantly on the lookout for novel sustainable products that would revolutionize the market,” said Mario Brumat, founder and CEO of Narayan Foods. “Just by tasting MeliBio’s …


protein made from upcycled brewer's yeast

© Yeasty

France’s Yeasty Raises €1.4M for Alt Protein Made From Upcycled Brewer’s Yeast

Paris-based startup Yeasty has raised €1.4 million in pre-seed funding for its sustainable protein derived from upcycled brewer’s yeast. The round was led by Asterion Ventures, with participation from Satgana and Caméléon Invest. Yeasty plans to use the funding to produce samples on an industrial scale, and by 2025, the company hopes to build a site with a capacity of 5,000 tons per year. Production process Yeasty takes brewer’s yeast, a byproduct of beer production, and uses a proprietary process to remove the bitterness that has previously prevented the ingredient from being widely used. The yeast is then made into a flour that is suitable for a range of applications, including alt protein products, pet food, and sports and medical nutrition. Yeast-based protein Worldwide, other …


© RapidBox

Indian Vegan Leather Shoe Producer Rapidbox Raises $4.5M in Series A Funding

Rapidbox, an India-based startup producing vegan leather sneakers, has raised $4.5 million in a Series A funding round led by SIG Venture Capital. Other participants included Tanglin Venture Partners, India Quotient, and Ananya Goenka (an investment banking analyst). The startup, which also produces other fashion and sportswear items, says it will use the funding to improve customer experience, expand its product range, and further build the brand. Rapidbox sneakers feature uppers made from either high-gauge vegan leather or polyester yarns. According to the company, the soles, footbeds, and laces are all made from high-quality animal-free materials, ensuring the shoes will be long-lasting. Rapidbox products are sold via the company’s app and on marketplaces such as FlipKart and Myntra. The brand aims to provide high-quality shoes …


Wildtype salmon

© Wildtype

South Korea’s Third-Largest Conglomerate SK Invests $7M in Wildtype Cultivated Salmon

SK Inc., the investment arm of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate SK Group, has announced a $7 million investment in US-based cultivated salmon producer Wildtype. The Korean firm explained that it is looking to increase its investments in companies with excellent environmental, social, and corporate governance credentials. The conglomerate also reveals that it is working to form a joint venture between Perfect Day and Korean dairy producer Maeli Dairies, with the intention that Maeli will manufacture, distribute, and sell products made with Perfect Day’s animal-free milk proteins. SK Chairman impressed by Wildtype visit “[Wildtype’s cultivated salmon] can dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emitted during the process of fishing, farming, and transportation, and protect the marine ecosystem that faces the risk of extinction with bycatch,” said Chey Tae-won, …


better nature tempeh products

© Better Nature

Better Nature Raises £700K to Fuel Tempeh Awareness and Growth

UK brand Better Nature, specialising in tempeh-based meat alternatives, recently announced a £700K Seed Plus round to fuel retail presence in the UK and Europe ahead of a bigger series A round next year. The funds will support the brand’s new listing with Holland & Barrett and will also build on existing listings with Selfridges, Gopuff, and allplants. The investment round was led by 67 investors, including previous backers from a private crowdfunding campaign launched on Seedrs in March 2021, alongside two new investors in innovative and sustainable businesses, including the Global Entrepreneurship Centre. Expansion plans for 2023 Besides retail growth in the UK, Better Nature will focus on expansion in mainland Europe through the launch of its tempeh products in Germany’s second-largest supermarket Rewe in early 2023. …


LoveChock 2 packs

© Lovechock

Amsterdam’s Lovechock Set to Expand Operations With New Belgian Owner

Lovechock, a Netherlands producer of raw vegan chocolate products, announces it has been acquired by Belgian family-owned company Pauwels Engineering NV, in order to “strengthen the company’s vision for the future”. Pauwels Engineering NV is a holding company for, among others, The Belgian Chocolate Group NV, which recently invested in a 100% vegan chocolate production facility in Croatia. This state-of-the-art machinery will enable Lovechock to produce new plant-based confectionery products. Pauwels Engineering NV will take over 100% of Lovechock BV, but states that it continues to rely on the structure of the Dutch brand, and as such, Lovechock will remain 100% independent and based in Amsterdam. However, changes will take place in terms of production: the production site in Heerhugowaard, NL, is to close, and …


Katjes Greenfood Places €20M Bond

Katjes Greenfood, a plant-based leader in the German market, announces it has placed a bond (ISIN: DE000A30V3F1 / WKN: A30V3F) with a volume of 20 million euros. News of the bond was “met with lively interest from institutional and private investors,” according to the company. The bond has a maturity of 5 years and a coupon of 8%. All orders placed via the subscription functionality were fully allocated up to a volume of 200,000 euros each. Subscription orders exceeding this amount were allocated at a rate of 88 %. The first trading day (trading per appearance) for the bond on the Open Market (Freiverkehr) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the Quotation Board segment is already scheduled for 23 November 2022. The issue and value …


TBH Cocoa Hazelnut Spread


‘Stranger Things’ Actor Noah Schnapp Launches Capital Raise for TBH Vegan Hazelnut Spread

tbh, the company reinventing Nutella hazelnut spreads with better-for-you ingredients, announces the launch of its first capital raise on fintech platform Republic. Beginning Nov. 21st, individuals can invest as little as $50 to help tbh expand its retail footprint and grow its existing product line.  Co-founded by actor, influencer, and entrepreneur Noah Schnapp, alongside co-founders Elena Guberman and Ba Minuzzi, tbh offers a healthier, more eco-conscious version of the popular Nutella spread. Unlike its competitor, tbh’s hazelnut cocoa spread uses less sugar, contains more protein, and avoids the use of palm oil. By raising capital on Republic, a platform that allows everyone to invest in private market equity, debt or crypto offerings, tbh seeks to educate and empower a new generation to become shareholders in …


Bright Biotech founder Mohammad El Hajj

Co-founder and CEO Mohammad El Hajj © Bright Biotech

Bright Biotech Closes Oversubscribed Round for “Game-Changing” Plant Chloroplast Technology

UK-based Bright Biotech has secured $3.2 million in funding in an oversubscribed seed round. The startup’s technology harnesses valuable proteins in the chloroplasts of plants that can help cultivated meat companies achieve industrial production affordably. More expensive than diamonds Growth factors make up at least 55% of the marginal cost of cultivated meat. According to Bright Biotech, astonishingly, growth factors can cost several million dollars per gram making them more expensive by weight than diamonds. As a solution to this bottleneck, the Manchester startup says it can manufacture and supply premium growth factors at minimal cost using proteins produced by plants, through an innovative technology that harnesses chloroplasts to express large amounts of high-value proteins with large yields. It adds that its chloroplast-based expression is light-driven, …




JULIENNE BRUNO Raises £5M to Make Vegan Cheeses “First Choice, Not Alternatives”

London-based vegan cheese producer JULIENNE BRUNO has announced a £5 million funding round led by Cherry Ventures. The brand says it will use the funding to expand and work towards its wider ambition of transforming the food industry. The goal is to create cheeses that consumers choose because of their quality, not because they are dairy-free; in the company’s words, products that are the “first choice, not alternatives”. Collection 01 Last year, JULIENNE BRUNO raised £1 million in a seed funding round led by Seedcamp. These funds were used to develop the brand’s Collection 01, which features three cheeses — Burrella, Crematta, and Superstraccia. While the cheeses are inspired by traditional animal-based varieties — burrata, cream cheese, and stracciatella respectively — JULIENNE BRUNO emphasises that …