Investments & Finance

Black Sheep Foods Raises $5.25M to Make Plant-Based Lamb and Wild Game

Black Sheep Foods, makers of the first plant-based lamb in the US, announces a $5.25 million seed funding raise to bring uncommon plant-based “game” meats to the market.  

Based in San Francisco, Black Sheep Foods also intends to “catapult flavor to the next level” by developing plant-based versions of heritage breed meats. The company accomplishes this by carefully analyzing and identifying key flavor compounds found in animal-based meat, and then structuring them around plant proteins. 

Rapid restaurant expansion

The company used this technology to develop its flagship product, plant-based lamb, which offers the complex gamey flavor and texture found in traditional lamb. 

Black Sheep Lamb Dishes
©Nicola Parisi

Last fall, the groundbreaking product launched exclusively at Souvla, a popular Bay Area chain of Greek restaurants, which served the item as Tunis-inspired heritage breed plant-based lamb. The successful Souvla debut has already led to additional expansions, with acclaimed California restaurants such as Rooh, Chezchez, Beit Rima, Mazra and Monica’s adding Black Sheep lamb to their menus this month.  

Delta Airlines will also soon carry Black Sheep’s lamb meatballs for business and first-class travelers.

“We’re encouraged by the momentum the plant-based movement is currently seeing, evidenced by our support from a diverse array of investors and restaurants, and what that means both for Black Sheep Foods but also for the future of our planet,” says Black Sheep co-founder Sunny Kumar.

Upping the stakes 

Black Sheep’s seed investors included AgFunder, Bessemer Venture Partners, New Crop Capital and Siddhi Capital. The raise notably marks the first time Bessemer has invested in a food company. 

Black Sheep Plant-Based Lamb
© Nicola Parisi/Souvla

“The plant-based movement has made spectacular strides in recent years and has incredible potential to reduce the destructive environmental impact of industrial meat production,” said Tess Hatch, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Black Sheep Foods’ first heritage lamb product has upped the stakes in what it means to deliver a delicious, sustainable, plant-based meat.”

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