Kale United, a Swedish investment company with a portfolio of public and private plant-based food companies, reached its €350,000 crowdfunding campaign target on its first day yesterday.
The company sold just under 19% of its share capital to 125 investors including some high profile individuals like Marin Muyser, cofounder of Booking.com who said in a statement: ”We love the proposition of Kale United as it offers us exposure to the most prominent plant-based initiatives on the planet.”
Kale United considered changing the terms of the deal that were set before the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent global lockdown but in the end, decided not to.
“We talked a lot with our investment network, existing shareholders and advisors on how to relate to the situation,” Kale United founder Måns Ullerstam told AFN. “I had a number of high profile people who told me I was crazy and should cancel the round completely. We were discussing lowering the bar for the investment round and/or lowering the share price as some sort of Covid-19 discount. We decided against it, partly because our maximum discount we could make was in the region of 5% and the stock market had fallen with more than 30% at the time, so a 5% discount would probably not meet expectations of a Covid-19 discount anyway.”
Ullerstam added that Kale United’s portfolio, which includes US-based sushi alternative Ocean Hugger Foods, plant-based meals group Plantable, fellow Swedish company and plant-based cheese startup Noquo Foods, and remote sensing startup Vultus, is up 80% in value with public companies in the portfolio down just 2% by current levels.
“Those are fairly impressive numbers in the current situation,” he said. “I think the number one reason was that people felt our mission was more important than ever in these times. Plant-based foods are a lot better from a food safety perspective and if we want to avoid more pandemics.”
Of course, limitations on consumer movement, high unemployment related to that and a predicted global recession will see even tougher times ahead for Kale United’s portfolio, although, perhaps as expected, Ullerstam remained relatively upbeat about his companies.