The Not Company, Latin America’s biggest competitor in the plant-based meat and dairy substitutes market, is set to close an $ 85 million round of funding that would value it at $ 250 million, according to sources close to the company’s plans.
The latest funding round follows a string of successes for the Santiago-based company. In the two years since NotCo launched onto the global stage, the company has expanded beyond its mayonnaise product in milk, ice cream and burgers. Other products, including a chicken meat substitute, are also on the product roadmap, according to people close to the company.
NotCo already sells several products in Chile, Argentina and Latin America’s largest market – Brazil – and has signed a successful contract with Burger King to be the supplier of the plant-based hamburger chain. It’s in this deal with Burger King that NotCo’s approach to protein formulation pays off, sources say. The company is responsible for selling 48 sandwiches per store per day in places where it supplies its products, according to a person familiar with the data. That figure surpasses Impossible Foods’ per-store sales, the person said.
NotCo now also sells its burgers in grocery stores in Argentina and Chile. And while the company is yet to break even, sources have said that by December 2021 it could be – or even potentially, a positive cash flow.
With the growth in both sales and its diversification into new products, it’s no wonder investors have taken notice.
Sources said consumer-branded private equity firm L Catterton Partners and Future Positive, backed by Biz Stone, were likely investors in the company’s new funding round. Previous NotCo investors include Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the London-based CPG investment firm, The Craftory, IndieBio and SOS Ventures.
Alternatives to animal products are a huge (and still growing) category for venture capitalists. Earlier this month, Perfect Day closed on a second tranche of $ 160 million for that company’s latest funding round, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $ 361.5 million, according to Crunchbase. Perfect Day then turned around and started a consumer food business called Urgent Company.
These recent cycles confirm our report in Extra Crunch on where investors are focusing their time as they attempt to create a more sustainable future for the food industry. Learn more about the path they are tracing.
Meanwhile, major food chains continue to experiment with plant-based menu dishes and push even further into cell-based meat using animal cultures. KFC recently announced that it will be expanding its experience with Beyond Meat’s chicken substitute in the United States – and that it will also experiment with cultured meat in Moscow.
Behind all this activity is a recognition that consumer tastes are changing, that interest in plant-based diets is increasing, and that animal agriculture is having profound effects on the global climate.
As the ClimateNexus website notes, animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels. It is also one of the main causes of deforestation, water and air pollution and the loss of biodiversity.
There are 70 billion animals raised for human consumption each year, which occupy a third of the planet’s arable and habitable land and consume 16% of the world’s freshwater supply. Reducing meat consumption in the global diet could have huge implications for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If Americans replaced beef with plant-based alternatives, some studies suggest it would reduce emissions of 1,911 pounds of carbon dioxide.