US plant-based ice cream company Eclipse Foods has raised $12M in its Series A funding round. The round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures. Many of Eclipse’s early-stage investors, including Beyond Meat’s Seth Goldman, Alexis Ohanian, Gmail co-creator Paul Buccheit, and former Dreyers’ executive Eric Patel were also involved.
The funding will allow Eclipse to continue to expand. Until recently, the company was only distributing its ice cream via foodservice channels, but it has now launched retail distribution. Currently, it is available at a variety of independent retailers on the West Coast, with plans to expand further.
Eclipse is also now selling direct to the consumer via its website, shipping to everywhere in the US. Its Chef Series, developed in collaboration with acclaimed chefs, is available via the website with all proceeds going to charity.
While there are already numerous plant-based ice cream brands on the market, from So Delicious to Ben and Jerry’s, Eclipse believes it will be successful because it is doing something different. Rather than making ice cream from almonds, oats, or coconut, it combines ingredients to achieve a result that’s as close to dairy ice cream as possible.
“We’re following the Beyond Meat playbook; they’re not selling a pea or a bean burger, they’re selling a Beyond Burger,” Eclipse co-founder Aylon Steinhart told FoodNavigator.