A drink made with leaf protein

© The Leaf Protein Co.

The Leaf Protein Co. Secures $850K to Unlock the Highly Nutritious Rubisco Protein for F&B

The Leaf Protein Co., an Australian agritech startup extracting Rubisco proteins from green leaves, has raised $850,000 in a pre-seed round to accelerate its growth and propel the commercialization of its sustainable protein solutions for the F&B industry. The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-seed Fund led the raise. LaunchVic’s Hugh Victor McKay Fund (supporting local agtech startups) and Loyal VC participated. With the new capital, the startup will expand its staff, optimize its pilot plant, and enhance its protein extraction methods to bring its leaf proteins to market. Hun Gan, CEO of Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, expressed pride and support on behalf of the University of Melbourne, acknowledging the significant progress the startup has made and highlighting the potential of innovations to improve people’s lives, tackle …

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Investment Climate Podcast: Fabian Friede of Bluu Seafood – How to Get Funded in 2024

In this new podcast series, co-produced by vegconomist, Alex Shandrovksy interviews investors about benchmarks for funding alt proteins in 2024 and uncovers the investment playbooks of successful Climate Tech CEOs and Leading VCs. Podcast Host Alex Shandrovksy is a strategic advisor to numerous global food tech accelerators and companies, including leaders in alternative protein and cellular agriculture. His focus is on investor relations and post-raise scale for agrifood tech companies. Episode one from last month can be found here and the second is here. Episode 03: Bluu Seafood’s Fabien Friede In this episode, Alex talks to Fabian, co-CEO of Bluu Seafood who joined the startup industry in 2010 and worked with investors on a lot of different digital businesses around the globe. He talks about …

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Pete Speranza, Sarno brothers

© Wicked Kitchen/Good Catch

Wicked Kitchen Acquired by Ahimsa Companies in Strategic Industry Consolidation

Wicked Kitchen, a global plant-based food brand, along with its associated brands Good Catch and Current Foods, has been acquired by the Ahimsa Companies, becoming part of its plant-based industry consolidation effort.  Pete Speranza, CEO of Wicked Kitchen, stated, “We are aligned in our mission, and we believe that Wicked Kitchen is stronger today and better positioned to serve the health and environmentally conscious consumer who does not want to sacrifice on taste or convenience.” Wicked Kitchen, founded by chefs Derek and Chad Sarno, offers a wide range of plant-based foods, including frozen meal solutions, desserts, ingredients, and snacks. Its products are available in over 20,000 retailers and online, with over 50 products in the US and more than 150 in the UK. Industry consolidation …

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GlassWall Syndicate now hosted by Brinc

Image: Brinc/GlassWall Syndicate

Alternative Protein Investor Network GlassWall Syndicate Finds “New Home” at Brinc

GlassWall Syndicate (GWS), described as the world’s largest alternative protein investor network, has announced that it is now hosted by Hong Kong-based global venture capital and accelerator firm Brinc. Brinc’s resources and network — including teams across regions such as MENA, India, Singapore, China, and Japan — will allow GWS to enter a new growth phase, increasing critical funding avenues for companies working to combat the climate crisis. Brinc will support GWS in a strategic expansion beyond alternative proteins into sub-verticals such as Climate Adaptation, Advanced Materials, Circular Economy, and more. Going forward, GWS members will still be able to access their existing benefits, with the addition of even more resources, deals, and opportunities. Vetted members will be able to participate in syndicated deals with …

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TASTE LIKE herring salad

© TASTE LIKE GmbH

TASTE LIKE, Famous from Appearance on Germany’s Shark Tank, Seeks Investors

German startup TASTE LIKE, seen on the TV programme Die Höhle der Löwen (The Lion’s Den, similar format to Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den), known for its vegan herring salads, is seeking new investors and experienced partners for a successful launch in the food retail sector Martina Kühn and Alexander Jens have been producing vegan specialities for the benefit of animals, people and the environment since 2017 under the brand name ‘MAKÜ’. According to the small family business from North Friesland, the flagship products in its range are the vegan herring salads, which are in no way inferior to the original in terms of flavour, consistency and mouthfeel. As a substitute for herring, TASTE LIKE uses aubergines, which are processed using a specially developed method, …

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NUTRUMAMI founder Frederik with Chuchu

Image courtesy of NUTRIMAMI

NUTRUMAMI Secures €450K Pre-Seed Funding to Pioneer a Brand New Ingredient Category, “Multi-Functional Plant Proteins”

NUTRUMAMI, a Danish startup developing a plant protein powder designed to replace the nutrients found in animal meat products, announces the successful closing of a €450K pre-seed funding round led by Kost Capital and Planetary Impact Ventures. Founded by Frederik Jensen, a fine-dining chef with over 12 years of experience in FMCG innovation, NUTRUMAMI states that it is pioneering a new ingredient category, “multi-functional plant proteins”. Jensen previously served as CIO and co-founder of CHEW in Boston. Head of Fermentation, Chuchu Huang, holds a PhD in microbiology and fermentation and previously worked at Mycorena and Novo Nordisk. Through a “unique cross-fermentation process”, for which the startup says it has a patent pending, NUTRUMAMI provides ingredients and flavors produced from sustainable resources to facilitate a reduction …

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Investment Climate Podcast: Robert Boer of Blue Horizon – How to Get Funded in 2024

In this new podcast series, co-produced by vegconomist, Alex Shandrovksy interviews investors about benchmarks for funding alt proteins in 2024 and uncovers the investment playbooks of successful Climate Tech CEOs and Leading VCs. Podcast Host Alex Shandrovksy is a strategic advisor to numerous global food tech accelerators and companies, including leaders in alternative protein and cellular agriculture. His focus is on investor relations and post-raise scale for agrifood tech companies. Episode one from last month can be found here. Episode 02: Blue Horizon’s Robert Boer In this episode, Alex talks to Robert Boer, director at Blue Horizon Corporation, a leading investment fund in alternative proteins. During the conversation, Robert shared the top mistakes founders make when approaching the fund and best practices for getting funded. Key …

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Wide Open Agriculture lupin

© Wide Open Agriculture

Protein Industries Canada and Partners Invest $6.2M to Expand Lupin Industry in Canada

Protein Industries Canada has announced a collaborative initiative with Lupin Platform, the first commercially grown lupin in North America, PURIS Holdings, and YOSO Canada to bolster the lupin value chain in Canada. The project aims to enhance opportunities for farmers and ingredient processors while introducing new plant-based protein products to the market. Lupin, a high-protein legume containing all nine essential amino acids, is gaining attention for its versatility in plant-based products. It can be processed into flour or extracted for protein to create dairy alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Additionally, lupin protein serves as a fat substitute in products like dressings and mayonnaise. Current market applications Companies currently utilizing lupin ingredients include Wicked Kitchen with its lupin-based ice cream, Wide Open Agriculture’s enriched …

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KPS acquires plant-based ingredient business Primient

© Primient

KPS to Acquire Tate & Lyle Plant-Based Ingredient Business Primient

In 2022, US investor KPS Capital Partners acquired a controlling interest in Tate & Lyle’s Primary Products business in North America. This led to the establishment of the independent plant-based ingredient business Primient. Now, Primient has announced that KPS will acquire the remainder of the company, bringing it into sole ownership. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of July. Primient previously announced that it would make an “unprecedented” $700 million in capital investments over the next five years, with the aim of modernizing the business’ manufacturing footprint and encouraging growth. “Primient’s performance has exceeded our expectations, and this second investment represents KPS’ continued commitment to Primient, its customers, and employees,” said Michael Psaros, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of KPS. “Under our …

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Plant-based made using traditional fermentation

© FÆRM

FÆRM Receives €1.3M to “Democratize” Plant-Based Cheese with Fermentation Method

Danish plant-based cheese startup FÆRM has received follow-on funding through a founder-friendly convertible loan of €1.3 million from BioInnovation Institute‘s Venture House program. FÆRM is a B2B company licensing a patented method that mimics dairy fermentation to produce what it describes as flavorful, high-quality, and clean-label plant-based cheese. Food producers or both dairy and plant-based cheese companies can integrate FÆRM‘s process without significant investments to make products and tap into the growing vegan cheese market.  “Every day, Andrea Donau and the rest of our amazing team at FÆRM are working hard to democratize plant-based cheese. And this new collaboration with BioInnovation Institue Venture House is a big step forward,” co-founder Mikkel Dupont shared on social media. What makes cheese great? Andrea Donau and Dupont established FÆRM in 2020 to revolutionize plant-based cheese using …

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Enifer mycoprotein facility

© Enifer

Enifer Raises €36M for Mycoprotein Facility Producing the “Missing Ingredient for a Sustainable Food Chain”

Finland’s Enifer has secured enough funding to begin the construction of a mycoprotein facility that will upcycle food industry sidestreams into fungi-based protein ingredients. The facility will cultivate up to 3,000 tons of Enifer’s proprietary mycoprotein, PEKILO®, every year; this is said to be enough to meet the annual protein needs of around 40,000 people. According to the company, the plant will be the first worldwide to produce this type of mycoprotein from sidestreams. The construction of the facility is expected to cost €33 million and be completed by the end of 2025, with operations ramping up in 2026. The new funding consists of a €15 million Series B round led by the private equity fund Taaleri Bioindustry Fund I, with follow-on investments from existing …

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CEO's Linda Obregon and Karina Zegarra of Peruvian Veef

Linda Obregon and Karina Zegarra © Peruvian Veef

Peruvian Veef Secures $320K in First Funding Round, Aims for Latin American Expansion

Peruvian Veef, a plant-based food startup in South America, has raised $320,000 in its first funding round, led by US-based venture capital investors. This round included contributions from Ahimsa Foundation and Sustainable Food Ventures, along with a non-dilutive government grant from ProInnovate Peru. Founded by Karina Zegarra, with a focus on affordable, locally-made plant-based meat alternatives, the company has developed a range of 11 products inspired by Latin American cuisine, including beef, chicken, cold-cuts, and traditional Peruvian dishes like anticucho and grilled chicken. According to the company, these products are competitively priced at less than half of some imported alternatives. The company has established a significant presence in the local market, with its products available in over 70 stores and leading sales at Peru’s specialty …

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Freshcut Foods

© Freshcut Foods

UK Food & Beverage M&A Activity Reaches Highest Deal Volume Since 2016

A report by corporate finance house Oghma Partners has found an increase in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the UK food and beverage sector. Deal volume increased in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, reaching the highest levels since T1 2016. However, deal values remained low; only 4.7% of deals were above £50.0 million in Enterprise Value, and none surpassed £100.0 million. Total deal value decreased by 31.7% compared to the same period last year. This is largely due to challenging macroeconomic headwinds in the UK, which have persisted despite the recent easing of market conditions. Furthermore, 14% of deals were acquisitions out of administration, as inflation and high interest created a difficult trading and funding environment …

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Canadian plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea has secured CAD 650,000 in a seed II financing round to accelerate its US expansion and hire additional team members in Victoria.

© Save da Sea

Save Da Sea Secures Funds for Expansion, Proving that “Profit with Purpose” is Possible

Canadian plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea recently secured CAD 650,000 in a seed II financing round to accelerate the US expansion of its salmon and tuna alternatives and hire additional team members at its headquarters in Victoria. The startup made its US debut at Market of Choice, a retail chain with 11 locations throughout Oregon, last week, as reported by Betakit. Meanwhile, its US expansion plans include other listings following a strategy to concentrate on natural foods retailers in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, CEO and founder Aki Kaltenbach reported that the company’s revenue in the Canadian market had tripled year over year, encouraging a US launch of its fresh refrigerated smoked salmon and tuna products. The round was led by the Business Development Bank …

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© Nicola Kagoro

Support Plant-Based Cooking Workshops in African Schools

The Animal Welfare and Environment Network for Tanzania (AWENET) raises awareness in Tanzanian schools about the environmental and health benefits of plant-based eating. The organisation has made Meatless Mondays and Fridays possible in schools, while their Vegan School Lunches Outreach Programme aims to reach 12,000 students this year – all made possible thanks to the support of ProVeg Grants. Your donation to ProVeg Grants will help organisations like AWENET to expand their plant-based school food programmes, thus impacting hundreds of catering staff and thousands of students. Since launching in 2019, ProVeg Grants has provided more than 900 grants to organisations and individuals in over 90 countries working to change the global food system. Every contribution you make reaches, supports, and empowers organisations around the world. …

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beyond meat investor profile

© Timon - stock.adobe.com

Despite 8th Consecutive Quarterly Decline, Ethan Brown Predicts a “Pivotal and Terrific Year” for Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has reported its Q1 2024 financial earnings, communicating a continued decline in revenue, prompting a nearly 14% drop in the company’s stock. Net revenues fell 18% year-over-year to $75.6 million, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue declines for the company.  This development follows a significant surge in the company’s stock value in February after Beyond announced its 2023 Q4 earnings. Despite a nearly 8% decline in Q4 revenue compared to the previous year, Beyond Meat received favorable reviews from analysts during the recent earnings call. This positive feedback was due to the fact that, although US sales decreased, the company’s performance exceeded analyst expectations. The decrease in revenue in Q1 was largely due to a 16.1% reduction in the volume of …

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Voyage Foods founders

Founders Adam Maxwell and Kelsey Tenney. © Voyage Foods

Voyage Foods Secures $52M for Future-Proof Allergen-Free Foods, Bringing Total Raise to $94M

Californian food innovation company Voyage Foods has secured $52 million in a funding round, bringing the total amount it has raised to $94 million. The round was co-led by Level One Fund and Horizons Ventures, with participation from SOSV, Collaborative Fund, and Nimble Partners. Voyage Foods is working to recreate popular products and flavors without the top nine allergens. The company has already developed peanut-free and hazelnut-free spreads, both made using roasted seeds; in the fall of 2023, the spreads launched at Walmart stores US-wide, in an unusual success for a startup. Additionally, Voyage Foods is addressing issues such as climate change and deforestation by creating alternatives to foods with a large environmental impact. These include bean-free coffee made from roasted chickpeas and rice hulls, …

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Elysabeth Alfano impact investing

© Elysabeth Alfano

Impact Investment Strategies Unveiled in New GenConnectU Course by VegTech Invest’s Elysabeth Alfano

GenConnectU has recently introduced an on-demand educational offering, “Impact Investing with Plant-based Innovation,” targeted at those interested in sustainable investment practices. The course is led by Elysabeth Alfano, CEO of VegTech Invest, who brings substantial expertise in the plant-based investment sphere. The course curriculum is designed to educate enrollees on how to integrate ethical considerations into their investment choices, specifically focusing on the plant-based innovation sector. It aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate public markets with a sustainability-focused approach. Elysabeth Alfano’s professional background includes a start at The Kellogg Company and various executive roles before transitioning to a focus on sustainability investing and consulting. She has shared her insights on global stages, such as the United Nations and Yale …

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Irish consumers go plant-based

© Oatly

Oatly Stock Rises Following Promising Q1 Financial Results

Leading oat milk producer Oatly has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, revealing an “encouraging start to the year”. The results have boosted Oatly stock, which is up 3.42% and has risen above the 200-day line. Compared to the same period last year, Oatly’s Q1 revenue rose by 1.8% to $199.2 million, while constant currency revenue increased by 1.2% due to growth in the North America and Europe & International segments. Gross margin reached 27.1%, up 9.7 percentage points. First quarter net loss was $45.8 million, an improvement of $29.8 million compared to Q1 2023; meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA loss was $13.2 million, a $36.7 million improvement. These results indicate that Oatly is moving towards break-even. For the remainder of 2024, Oatly …

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Jooules' team.

CFO Luke Stevenson (L), Founder David McLellan, and Research Scientist Usama Mukhtar © Jooules

Jooules Secures NZ$1M to Transform CO2 into Complete Protein Ingredients

Jooules, a New Zealand startup that turns greenhouse gas emissions into protein ingredients, has secured NZ$1 million in a pre-seed round led by early-stage investor Sprout Agritech LP. David McLellan, a participant in the Sprout Accelerator program, founded Jooules to transform protein production with an animal and land-free process that delivers a climate-positive ingredient.   A pioneer in New Zealand, the startup leverages cutting-edge science, gaseous fermentation, and specific microbe strains that consume CO2 and turn it into a complete protein powder.  With the new capital, the startup plans to grow its technical team and scale its platform while it develops products in collaboration with the Crown research entity SCION.  Warren Bebb, investment manager at Sprout, shares, “They’ve invented a way to address a global challenge that uses …

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