THIS founders

Pete Sharman (L) and Andy Shovel, founders of THIS © THIS

THIS Receives Investment from Television Broadcaster ITV, Announces Pieminister Collaboration

British alt meat brand THIS has announced two new developments — an investment from the UK’s largest commercial television broadcaster, ITV, and a collaboration with pie brand Pieminister. As part of its Media for Equity programme, ITV will subscribe for £1.5 million of shares in THIS, with the option to subscribe for two additional tranches of £1.5 million each. In return, the plant-based meat brand will receive advertising inventory on the broadcaster’s channels and streaming service. It marks the first time ITV has ever invested in a food company. The news follows a string of successes for THIS in 2023, including an international launch in the Netherlands, listings at Boots and WHSmith, and the recent launch of plant-based roast chicken for the holiday season. Earlier …


Kern Tec raises funding for alt dairy made from upcycled fruit pits

Kern Tec founders. © Chris Landl

Kern Tec Raises €12M to Scale Up Alt Dairy Products Made From Upcycled Fruit Pits

Austrian company Kern Tec, which uses upcycled fruit pits to produce sustainable plant-based foods, has raised €12 million in funding. Claimed to be the largest ever Series A raise for an Austrian food tech company, the capital will allow Kern Tec to further scale up the production and commercialisation of its plant-based milk alternatives and confectionery. The round was led by Telos Impact, with participation from the PeakBridge Growth 2 fund and the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. Kern Tec’s products are made by extracting oils from the seeds within upcycled apricot, plum, and cherry pits, of which 500,000 metric tonnes are currently sent to landfill each year. These oils can then be formed into a base compound for plant-based alternatives to dairy products such …


Phycom facility

© Phycom

Phycom Secures €9 Million to Scale Microalgae Production for Sustainable Proteins and Nutritious Food

Dutch microalgae specialist Phycom has announced a €9 million investment from key partners, including bioingredient-based foods Corbion,, Invest-NL, and Invest International. Existing shareholders also backed the company in this round. With the new funds, Phycom will grow its high-quality microalgae at an industrial scale, improve its technology, and expand its marketing activities. Additionally, the investment will allow the Phycom team to expand and appoint new complementary board members. President of Corbion Algae Ingredients, Ruud Peerbooms, said: “Phycom’s shown capabilities offer great potential, and we believe combining complementary strengths through this collaborative partnership will help us continue to redefine what’s possible through algae-based technologies.”  Sustainable proteins  Phycom is a B2B company based in Veenendaal, Gelderland, founded in 2018 to offer algae cultivation optimization services and high-quality …


Anton Paar HQ

© Anton Paar GmbH

Germany: Anton Paar Acquires Brabender

Technology specialist Anton Paar has acquired the traditional German company Brabender, which will be integrated into the Anton Paar Group as Anton Paar TorqueTec GmbH with immediate effect. Brabender, headquartered in the German town of Duisburg, offers measurement and process technology solutions for testing various raw materials and for recipe and process development. Special attention is also given to process solutions in the field of alternative protein sources. One product group that is extremely successful at Brabender includes various models of single-screw and twin-screw extruders. Extrusion technology also plays an important role in achieving global sustainability goals; Brabender extruders are used, for example, to develop alternative protein sources for meat alternative applications. A promising addition The signing of the acquisition agreement took place on 1 …


MadeRight develops fungi-based packaging

© MadeRIght

MadeRight Raises $2M for High-Performance Fungi-Based Packaging

Israeli startup MadeRight has raised $2 million in seed funding to further develop its fungi-based packaging solutions. The startup has created a solid-state fermentation process where mycelia turn industrial organic waste into biomass. Materials are then extracted from this biomass to form pellets that can be used in existing packaging manufacturing machines. When combined with bioplastics, the pellets have the potential to significantly improve performance and sustainability. The seed round was led by the incubator Fresh Start, with participation from Arkin Holdings and Arc Impact. It will be used to expand MadeRight’s development team, refine the production process, and enter new markets, with the goal of producing a commercially viable prototype by the end of 2024. “The great potential of MadeRight’s solution is to close …


Brave Robot/ Coolhaus Mint Sandwich

©Brave Robot/ Coolhaus

Superlatus Takes on Perfect Day’s Animal-Free Brands Through Acquisition of The Urgent Company, Plus Further Surprise Moves

Two companies have merged and announced the acquisition of Perfect Day’s CPG business, The Urgent Company.  Superlatus, a food tech innovator and distribution company, and TRxADE HEALTH (NASDAQ: MEDS), a leading pharmaceutical exchange platform, have acquired The Urgent Company’s portfolio of animal-free brands: Brave Robot, Coolhaus, Modern Kitchen, and California Performance Co.   As part of the acquisition, Natasha Case, founder of Coolhaus, will rejoin the brand as chief brand officer, playing a pivotal role in the integration process. She will also be an advisor to Superlatus’ broader portfolio of brands. The Urgent Company The Urgent Company was founded in 2020 as a B2C to commercialize Perfect Day’s animal-free whey protein. The company debuted with Brave Robot and its revolutionary cow-free ice cream. Its products, including cream …


Freshcut Foods

© Freshcut Foods

Plant-Based Ingredients Producer Freshcut Foods Secures New Ownership

Freshcut Foods, a plant-based ingredients producer based in Nottingham, UK, has secured new ownership after investment company Flywheel Partners acquired a majority stake. Freshcut Foods aims to “turn vegetables into irresistible, exciting, and inspired ingredients”, catering to flexitarian consumers by developing plant-centred solutions. The company supplies over 40 major food service brands, recipe kit producers, and manufacturers. The new deal sees Flywheel partner with Freshcut Foods’ management team, who are reported to have increased their stake in the business. Private equity firm Perwyn previously owned a majority stake in the ingredients supplier, but has now exited. The news comes after Freshcut Foods recorded a £10 million spike in turnover in the year ending in July 2022, following its recovery from the pandemic. Pre-tax profits were …


The Oater founding team

The founders of The Oater (left to right) Sarah Nesti, Henrik Burger, Lisa Nesti and Benjamin Auer © OIY Solutions GmbH

Oat Drink Machine Startup The Oater Closes Seven-Figure Round Led by Soda Stream Exec

Cologne-based Food startup The Oater announces it has closed a seven-figure pre-seed financing round. The Oater’s first product is an oat drink machine for the food service sector, producing fresh barista oat drinks on-site with minimal packaging. Renowned business angels with strong connections to the food and tech sectors contributed to the successful fundraising of the startup’s capital. Notably, Rüdiger Koppelmann, General Manager of SodaStream, was the main investor in this round. In addition to securing financing through this funding round, the startup also obtained significant six-figure grants. Among these grants is the €75,000 WomenTech EU grant, which supports talented and highly educated female founders in the tech industry. This financial boost will play a crucial role in facilitating the market entry and initial series …


© Yeastime

Big Idea Ventures Announces First New Protein Fund II Investments

Alt protein venture capital firm Big Idea Ventures has announced the first investments made as part of its New Protein Fund II. Ten early-stage startups have been chosen to receive pre-seed funding through the firm’s biannual accelerator program in New York and Paris. They are: New York Future Cow (Brazil) — Animal-free milk made via the precision fermentation of agro-industrial waste. The product is molecularly identical to cow’s milk. Naturannova (Chile) — Uses a proprietary Natural AI technology to rapidly identify peptides in nature, creating natural, healthy, and sustainable flavors. Pioneer Biolabs (US) — Has developed a proprietary genomic screening platform to engineer and optimize microbial cells for protein production.  Harvest Moon Foods (Canada) — The first Canadian company to use precision fermentation to turn …


Prairie Pulse facility in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Image credit: Prairie Pulse LinkedIn

ADM Acquires Canada’s Processor Prairie Pulse to Meet Growing Plant Protein Demand

Agribusiness leader ADM (NYSE: ADM) announces it has acquired Prairie Pulse Inc.,a locally operated lentil and pulse crop processor in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada, that works purchasing directly from Canadian farmers. ADM is expanding its North American footprint to supply the growing demand for pulse products by further enhancing its capability. Prairie Pulse’s operations involve 12,000 MT of bulk storage, cleaning, milling, sorting, sizing, and bagging. It doubles ADM’s supplying offer to produce shelf and alt protein products for domestic and international markets.  “This addition also expands our capabilities to meet the needs of our downstream customers, who are increasingly looking at pulses as protein sources for both human and animal nutrition products,” comments Aaron Brown, commercial manager at ADM. Increasing demand The key factor driving the …


Meat alternatives made from fermented Swedish peas

© Bärta

Bärta Seeks SEK 3M for Alt Meats Made From Fermented Swedish Peas Following 26% YOY Growth

Sweden’s Bärta is aiming to raise up to SEK 3 million (around $277,000) in an ongoing funding round conducted via fundraising platform Pepins. Several investors — including Kale United, Aggregate Media, and Michel Bracké — have already participated. It comes after unit sales of the brand’s meat alternatives, which are made from organic fermented Swedish peas, increased by 26% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023. Bärta describes its plant-based meats as “premium vegan products” with a high nutritional value, a rich flavour, and a very low environmental impact. Currently, five frozen and three chilled products are available, including fish-style fillets, marinated chunks, and burgers. Most of the products have a very simple ingredient list, featuring peas, fermentation cultures, rapeseed oil, and sea salt. The …


Chris Paul Plant-Based Investor

©Wicked Kitchen

NBA Icon Chris Paul Becomes Investor in “Global Impact Brand” Wicked Kitchen

Plant-based CPG brand Wicked Kitchen announces basketball superstar Chris Paul has joined the company as an investor. Paul joined the brand after originally investing in alt-seafood startup Current Foods, which Wicked Kitchen acquired in May.  A 10-time NBA All-Star, Paul transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2019 and credits the change with enhancing his on-court performance and improving his recovery time. Paul has become a passionate advocate for the vegan lifestyle and also invested in plant-based brands Umaro Foods, Misha’s, and Koia protein shakes.  In 2022, Paul partnered with delivery service GoPuff to launch his own line of plant-based chips and snacks, Good Eat’n.  Accelerating growth With one of the plant-based industry’s most extensive ranges of packaged foods, Wicked Foods’ products can currently be found …


Next Gen Foods strategic media partnership SevenVentures

© Next Gen Foods

Next Gen Foods Announces Strategic Media Partnership to Promote TiNDLE Plant-Based Chicken

Next Gen Foods, which owns plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE and dairy-free gelato producer Mwah!, has announced a strategic media partnership. The food tech startup has secured advertising volumes in a media-for-equity deal with SevenVentures, the investment arm of leading German media and digital company ProSiebenSat.1. With an eight-figure value, the investment will help to increase consumer awareness of TiNDLE in Germany, where the brand launched last summer. Next Gen Foods will work with SevenVentures to develop tailored media promotions and advertising solutions within ProSiebenSat.1’s high-reach channels and platforms. The investment will also support long-term awareness-building around the plant-based food category. The new partnership comes after Next Gen Foods raised $100 million in a funding round last year, in what it claimed was the largest ever …


Meatless Farm VFC

Meatless Farm X VFC

VFC Saves Meatless Farm From Administration

In a much-needed injection of good news for plant-based business, especially in the UK, fried chicken challenger brand VFC today officially confirms the acquisition of Meatless Farm, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, as many of our readers will be well aware. In a deal worth £12m in sales, VFC has stepped in to save the British brand known in particular for its vegan mince product. The Meatless Farm brand will be retained, with the product range diversifying VFC Foods’ existing plant-based chick*n portfolio.  Speaking to vegconomist this morning, Co-founder Matthew Glover states: “Those claiming the plant-based food movement has peaked are mistaken. The consumer appetite for plant-based is still there and at a total EU level, the category is in growth, with unit …


Adamo Foods mycelium steak

© Adamo Foods

Adamo Foods Raises £1.5M for “Groundbreaking” Mycelium Steaks

British food tech startup Adamo Foods has secured £1.5 million in funding to bring its whole-cut mycelium steaks to market. The sum consists of pre-seed funding from SFC Capital and two major grants from the government agency Innovate UK. The grants were received following Adamo’s participation in the ‘Better Food for All’ and ‘Novel Low Emission Food Production Systems’ competitions. Adamo will use the capital to further develop and scale its products, including by biofortifying the nutrients in mycelium to replicate the nutritional benefits of beef. The company will also develop processes to increase production to a pilot scale as it prepares to launch. The news comes after Adamo showcased its technology at the International Cellular Agriculture conference in Helsinki, which took place from June …


Evolved Foods

© Evolved Foods

India’s Evolved Foods Raises $891K to Address Protein Deficiency With Alt Meats

Indian alt meat brand Evolved Foods has raised Rs 7.30 crore (about $891,000 USD) in a seed funding round led by Rainmatter Health and Kamala Capital. Other participants included Anvitha Prashanth, Aprameya Radhakrishna, and various angel investors. According to Evolved Foods, 80% of Indians do not meet the recommended daily allowance for protein consumption, while others rely on animal foods such as meat and paneer. The company says its signature Plant Meat — which is made from soy, rice, and coconut — could provide a solution that improves health without putting a strain on the planet. The product has also been designed to cater to Indian tastes. Dishes made with Evolved Plant Meat are already available at various food service outlets across Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, …


Arda Biomaterials

© Arda Biomaterials

Arda Biomaterials Raises £1.1M to Turn Beer Waste Into Plastic-Free Alt Leather

The UK’s Arda Biomaterials, a producer of plastic-free upcycled leather alternatives, has raised £1.1 million in a funding round led by Clean Growth Fund. Other participants included Plug and Play, Serpentine Ventures, Satgana, and various angel investors. Arda uses waste barley from the beer brewing industry to produce a material called New Grain, which has the potential to be used in the fashion, home goods, and automotive industries. The company is based in The Leather Market building near London Bridge, and is working with breweries in South London’s ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’ — once a leather tanning district. Arda was founded last year by Edward TJ Mitchell, who holds a PhD in chemistry, and Brett Cotten, who has extensive experience in the alt protein sector. In …


Forager leather jacket, Ecovative Design

Forager leather jacket, Image credit Vasil Hnatiuk

Ecovative Secures $30M in Series E: “It’s Amazing What Mushrooms Can Do”

New York-based Ecovative Design LLC, the global leader in mycelium technology, announces the initial closing of a Series E funding round, surpassing $30 million. The funds will enable Ecovative to realize its ambitions of expanding its Forager business into a premier provider of sustainable textile and foam products worldwide.  Viking Global Investors spearheaded the round, joined by investors such as Standard Investments, Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures, and AiiM Partners. With the fresh capital, Ecovative has now accumulated a total of $120 million in funding to date. Half of the investment, $15 million, will be reinvested into its food subsidiary, MyForest Foods Co., which was established in 2020. The funds allocated to MyForest Foods, whose flagship product is mycelium bacon product MyBacon, will facilitate …


Sentient Ventures

Sentient Ventures co-founders Alexandra Clark and Manish Karani with La Fauxmagerie’s co-founder sisters Charlotte and Rachel Stevens. © Sentient Ventures

Sentient Ventures Invests £2M In Female-Founded Companies Disrupting the Food System

UK-based impact fund Sentient Ventures has announced its first three investments — all into female-founded companies. A combined £2 million has been invested into dairy-free cheesemonger La Fauxmagerie, vegan pizza chain Purezza, and plant-based chicken brand Rebellyous. It comes as figures suggest that female-founded companies are chronically underfunded, receiving just 1p of every £1 of venture funding in the UK. Male founder teams get 89p, while mixed-gender teams get 10p. La Fauxmagerie Founded by sisters Charlotte and Rachel Stevens, La Fauxmagerie claims to be the UK’s first plant-based cheesemonger. The co-founders report that the investment has allowed them to “aggressively scale our manufacturing division and build our team”, leading to a listing at 104 Waitrose supermarkets. The brand is now set to roll out nationwide. …


The CellMEAT team

© CellMEAT

Korea’s CellMEAT Raises $13M After Developing Cultivated Shrimp & Caviar

South Korea-based cultivated seafood company CellMEAT has raised 17.4 billion KRW ($13 million) in Series A funding. The round was led by previous investors BNK Venture Investment, Ryukyung PSG Asset Management, and Strong Ventures. Three new investors — NH Venture Investment, Genting Ventures, and Daewoodang Healthcare — also participated. It comes as CellMEAT prepares to officially open a mass production center in Seoul later this month, after developing cell culture technology that makes large-scale production economically viable. The company is notable for being one of the first worldwide to develop a serum-free cell culture medium, helping to bring down the cost of production while removing the ethical issues associated with fetal bovine serum. Prioritizing technology development CellMEAT previously raised $8.1 million in a funding round …