Investments & Acquisitions

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, along with cocoa-free chocolate made from vegetable oils and grape seeds.

Cargill has partnered with Voyage Foods, a California-based food tech company that creates allergen and dairy-free spreads and cacao-free chocolates.
Courtesy of Cargill, image credit Noel Barnhurst

“[Voyage Foods’ technology] has set a new standard for commercialization in the food tech space by producing replicas of essential food products and ingredients that are both extremely cost competitive against, and more sustainable than, incumbent products,” said Level One founding partner James Stewart. “Level One Fund is proud to co-lead this round with Horizons Ventures and provide the capital necessary for Voyage to scale up production and yield an immediate and meaningful impact on the world.”

Cargill partnership

Voyage Foods was founded in 2021 by Adam Maxwell and Kelsey Tenney, who brought together a team of food scientists and CPG experts to create “one-of-a-kind” foods. Just a year later, the startup began scaling its products for commercialization, launching the first one (Peanut-Free Spread) in 2022 after a successful Series A funding round.

Last month, Voyage Foods announced that Cargill would become its exclusive global B2B distributor. Through the partnership, manufacturers will be able to access a range of chocolate alternatives and nut-flavor spreads for recipe formulation in the bakery, ice cream, and chocolate confectionery categories.

Voyage Foods's cocoa-free chocolate
© Voyage Foods

The announcement comes as cocoa prices continue to rise dramatically, with raw material costs up 30-40% and retail prices up 15%. This is mainly caused by climate change and seasonal flooding in cocoa-producing countries. A third-party validated life-cycle assessment indicates that Voyage Foods’ cocoa-free chocolate has a 61% lower carbon footprint than conventional chocolate, while reducing land use-related impacts by 90% and water footprint by 95%.

“Cargill is proud to partner with Voyage Foods…this partnership is just one of the many ways that we are future-proofing our portfolio and meeting consumer demands and market regulations around sustainability and health,” said Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Indulgence Europe at Cargill.

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