New alternative protein fund raises $23 million in capital2 Sep 2020
New alternative protein venture capital fund, Lever VC, announced that it has $23 million in commitments. The fund will focus on investing in early stage plant-based and cell-cultivated meat and dairy companies. The company said that it remains open to additional investors until it reaches its final close.
The fund was founded by veteran investors that have proved their mettle in the alt-protein investment world with $1.5 billion in early stage investments in some of today’s titans – Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats, Just, Aleph Farms and Kite Hill – as well as 40 other early stage alternative protein deals.
So far, the fund has invested $5 million into 10 companies, including Better Meat Co., Good Planet Foods, Mission Barns, The Good Spoon and TurtleTree Labs. Other investments are also on the horizon, The Spoon reported that the new fund already has its eye on up to 25 investments for dollar ranges of between $200,000 and $1 million. Nick Cooney a managing partner at the fund told Food Navigator that the firm is looking for startups that are innovating in categories that “are not yet saturated;” Lever VC maintains a database of 1,200 potential candidates from across the globe. Cooney explicitly excluded companies working on beef burgers or sausage from the company's realm of interest saying, “It’s hard to think of a company that could come along and produce a product better than where Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are right now.”
This fund is stepping onto the stage as interest in plant-based companies is reaching frothy new heights. Globally, investment in the industry has reached $1.1 billion in the first half of 2020, which is double that which was invested in 2019, according to a report published by FAIRR. The total valuation of the plant-based food market was tallied at $5 billion according to a pre-pandemic analysis from SPINS.
Cooney told Food Navigator that this growth is only just beginning and he expects plant-based meats to capture 10% of the protein market in the coming decade.
Part of the interest in this space is due to the pandemic pushing more consumers to sample protein that is not derived from animals. Products that are plant-based benefit from a health halo that many consumers said make them feel better, according to a DuPont Nutrition & Health study from 2018. Such an association has recently been elevated in consumer considerations as many look toward food as an opportunity to improve their overall health. At the same time, many consumers view plant-based products as a safe source of protein. In the U.S. dozens of meat processing plants shuttered as cases of Covid-19 spread through workers that were confined to close quarters.
Still, even when the pandemic crisis abates, plant-based food is likely to maintain its enormous popularity. With sales spiking in triple digits and up 29% over two years ago, investing in this category is undoubtedly going to be a good bet for Lever VC.
HN-Novatech launches seaweed heme ingredient in Singapore
28 Sep 2023
Korean food technology company HN-Novatech secures $4 million in funding and has unveiled a proprietary seaweed heme ingredient for healthy plant-based alternatives in Singapore.Read more
Healthy and humane: Noochies launches pet food that is factory farming-free
15 Sep 2023
US pet food brand Noochies uses nutritional yeast to make its meat-free, healthy dog food and freeze-dried snacks for cats and dogs – a humane pet food range that is free from factory farming meat, it says.Read more
Meurens Natural: Pioneering the Way in Oat-Based Nutrition
12 Sep 2023
Meurens Natural, a European trailblazer in the organic sector for more than 30 years and expert in hydrolyzed oat syrups, powders, and proteins.Read more
Elevate your products, with Butter Buds® concentrates
4 Sep 2023
Butter Buds Inc. is excited to return to Fi Europe, where we look forward to discovering more global food trends and sharing Fi Europe’s world of taste and opportunity. We are proud to be a part of the community of food & beverage tastemakers working t...Read more
European Court of Justice to weigh in on French plant-based name ban
23 Aug 2023
France’s Conseil d’Etat has asked the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) to provide clarification on whether the upcoming French law to ban the use of 'meaty' terms for plant-based foods is valid. “This is a pivotal moment, not just for France, but for ...Read more
Sugar-Reduced Fruit Applications – Perfect Gelling, Thickening and Stabilization with H&F Pectin
22 Aug 2023
Global trends, consumer awareness and rising sugar prices are increasing the pressure on food manufacturers to develop low-sugar product variants. Herbstreith & Fox offers optimal solutions for the development of sugar-reduced fruit applications.Read more
JECFA expert committee reconfirms aspartame safety at approved levels
20 Jul 2023
The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has found “limited evidence” that aspartame is a possible carcinogenic, yet the sweetener has received a classification of “possibly carcinogenic”.Read more
New Nordic nutrition guidelines emphasise plant-based eating
11 Jul 2023
Nordic scientists and experts are now recommending that people should consume less meat and more plants for both their health and the health of the planet.Read more
Manufacturers await groundbreaking aspartame safety review
10 Jul 2023
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is preparing to release its findings on whether the sweetener aspartame is a possible carcinogen.Read more
How to revive stagnating plant-based meat sales
6 Jul 2023
Sales of plant-based meat are stagnating, products are being withdrawn, and brands are declaring bankruptcy – but Rabobank’s RaboResearch has identified five strategies that could help revive the category, and precision fermentation could be an NPD gam...Read more