Contxto – The world is hungry for more foodtechs and their animal-free edibles.
Today (1), Brazilian startup Fazenda Futuro announced it raised R$115 million (~US$21 million). The round’s ringleaders were BTG Pactual and ENFINI Investments. They were joined by returning investors Monashees and Go4it Capital.
Money in hand, the startup plans to make a splash as it debuts in the United States with its meat-free meat. Likewise, the investment will also help it develop more products like plant-based chicken and fish.
With this second round, the startup’s market value is reported to be worth an estimated R$715 million (~US$133 million).
Fazenda Futuro and foodtech hunger pangs
Startups working with plant-based alternatives are gobbling up investments as of late.
In June, Swiss Blue Horizon led a Series A for US$2 million in Mexican Heartbest for its vegan products. Last month, Chilean The Live Green Co. closed around US$1 million and the NotCo is rumored to be raising around US$85 million to hit a US$250 million valuation.
Likewise, IDB Lab and Syngenta Ventures recently channeled money into AgVentures II, a fund for startups in agriculture and foodtech.
As the world ponders a net-zero carbon world, shifts towards animal-free diets are looking a little more appetizing for some consumers (and thus investors). But it will take some time for this to sink further in Latin America.
The region isn’t known for its vast vegetarian or vegan markets the way Europe is. Sorry cows, your meat is still just too cheap here and alternatives can be costly.
Making substitutes tasty, and affordable is undoubtedly one of the big challenges these foodtechs face.
Show me the veggies
Startups are strategically helping consumers sink their teeth into animal-free food.
In NotCo’s native Chile, its NotMeat product can be found at Burger King and on Papa John’s vegan pizza. Meanwhile, in Brazil, it’s buddied up with iFood to deliver its restaurant-prepared vegan burgers.
Fazenda Futuro for its part had buddied up with Brazilian supermarkets Pão de Açúcar and restaurant chain Spoleto to position its meat-free meatballs.
In Mexico, no plant-based company has forged such strategic distribution channels.
In any case, the closest thing I’ve found to vegan/vegetarian products from a major food chain are Carl’s Jr.’s in-house Veggie Star burgers (they’re quite tasty!). And for that, the American fast food chain has earned my respect (and money).
But my mind (and wallet) are open to trying plant-based meat by Latam’s startups… if only they would launch here.
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