A new venture capital firm focused on investing in plant and culture-based meat, egg and dairy alternatives has closed a $25 million fund. New Crop Capital has already invested in a substantial list of companies in the subsector, which it announced earlier this week.
The most recent investment is Beyond Meat, which is currently raising a Series E round of funding.
The other portfolio companies are Memphis Meats, the cultured meat startup, which raised $2.75 million in seed funding last month, Lighter, a software platform aiming to make plant-based eating easier, a plant-based meal delivery service Purple Carrot, a dairy alternative Lyrical Foods, cultured collagen manufacturer Gelzen, New Zealand’s first plant-based meat company SunFed Foods, and alternative cheese company Miyoko’s Kitchen.
The Washington, DC-based firm has ties with The Good Food Institute, a non-profit focused on extending the pipeline of scientists and entrepreneurs interested in working on plant-based and cultured products. And both Memphis Meats and Gelzen are receiving support from the group, according to a press release.
The VC fund will invest $5 million a year over five years and counts a range of high net worth investors among its investor base. Its founders are Bruce Friedrich, executive director of GFI and managing trustee of New Crop Capital, Chris Kerr, investment manager, and Nick Cooney, managing trustee.
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“New Crop Capital was born out of the recognition that the plant-based and cultured sectors are about to explode,” said Friedrich, who has pivoted from the non-profit sector. “Animal agriculture is unsustainable, unhealthy, cruel to animals, and extremely high risk. The shift to plant-based proteins has already begun—even as meat consumption is falling, the plant-based alternatives market is growing rapidly. The Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital are speeding that transition by increasing the number of companies operating in the plant-based and cultured space and by helping the companies that exist to be as successful as possible.”
Demand for these products is not only going to come from vegetarians but from “flexitarians”, that are looking for ways to replace animal proteins from part of their diet but don’t due to the convenience, taste and price of traditional sources, he added.
New Crop Capital is focused on making angel, seed, and Series A investments.
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