SIMULATE Raises $11M to Reinvent the Food System

As we reported last week, Nuggs founded a new parent company, Simulate, to go beyond the vegan chicken nugget and innovate further plant-based alternatives. Following a recent article by AlleyWatch, the US company is about to repair a broken food system by developing new nutrition technologies while operating as a software lab.

In the interview, SIMULATE’s CEO says of the raise, “We’ve raised $11M for our Series A in total, with $4.1M in new investment coming from Lerer Hippeau (via BN), AgFunder, Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of Reddit), Walter Robb (former CEO of Whole Foods), and Jasmine Tookes (the model and Victoria’s Secret Angel.) Earlier investors include McCain Foods, Rainfall Ventures, Neil Parikh (cofounder of Casper), and Bob Pittman (cofounder of MTV).”

SIMULATE says its mission is to “develop nutrition technology that advances nature’s codebase”. After updating  Nuggs to “Nuggs 2.0”, SIMULATE is currently developing new nutrition technologies, some that will launch later in the year. According to the company its series of reinventions has begun with the chicken patty and a hot dog alternative named Doggs, due for launch by the end of 2020. 

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The CEO and founder of Simulate, Ben Pasternak, explained in an interview with AlleyWatch the unique selling proposition of his company: “We operate like a software company. Leveraging a real-time customer feedback loop and an R&D lab in-house, we are able to rapidly iterate on our products in order to accelerate the development of technologies that can simulate meat using plant inputs which are indistinguishable from animal-based meat.”

The founder acknowledges his responsibility to reinvent a broken food system, enabling the food industry to feed the rising world population, saying that “by 2050 food production will need to scale 70% to keep up with global hunger demand. That’s not going to happen unless we lean in heavily to technological optimization of our nutrition system.”

Being asked about the near future of Simulate, in which the company will be present in US supermarkets for the first time, Pasternak added: “We plan to simulate other processed “meat” products in the very near future. But that’s just the beginning.”