Loss-making UK-based plant-based meat startup Meatless Farm has laid off most of its employees after failing to secure additional funds to help it stay afloat, according to messages posted by former team members on LinkedIn.
One of multiple Meatless employees updating their social media profiles with an ‘open-to-work’ banner, Meatless Farm commercial director Tim Offer wrote: “Sadly my time at Meatless Farm has come to an end. After a fantastic 10 months leading a talented and highly engaged sales team the business has unfortunately made all the teams redundant.”
The company has not made an official statement, but reportedly filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Friday according to UK trade publication The Grocer. The Meatless Farm website is currently offline.
One industry source told AgFunder News (AFN): “The investor they thought was going to make a multi-million dollar investment backed out and the company ran out of time to get the capital needed.”
Open to work
Founded by Danish entrepreneur Morten Toft Bech in 2016, Meatless Farm raised more than $48 million from investors including Stray Dog Capital and SK Inc, and launched its first products in 2018. It went on to sell finished products in 20+ markets in Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, and Latin America and set up an ingredients division in Calgary called Lovingly Made Ingredients.
According to accounts filed with Companies House, Meatless Farm posted a £23.5 million ($29.4 million) loss on sales up 66% to £12.5 million ( $15.6 million) in the year to December 21, 2021. This figure dipped slightly to £11.2 million ($14 million) in 2022, according to The Grocer, although Toft Bech claimed 2022 sales were up 30% year over year in a recent interview with Business Leader.
According to The Grocer, Meatless recently engaged insolvency specialists at Kroll to run an “accelerated sales process in the hope of securing a rescue deal, with the business needing at least £10 million ( $12.5 million) as it burned through its remaining cash.”