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NotCo, which is backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has secured $235 million in a fundraising round headed by Tiger Global, valuing the plant-based foodtech firm at $1.5 billion. Sports stars Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer, as well as startup capital company DFJ Growth Fund and social impact charity ZOMA Lab, pitched in on the funding.
The firm, which produces plant-based milk, burger patties, meat, and ice creams, intends to utilise the additional funds to grow in Asia and Europe as well as develop new goods for the North American market. NotCo also intends to increase its investment in Giuseppe, an AI technology that investigates new plant combinations to imitate animal-based food items.
“Many businesses have approached NotCo with the request, “Can you develop a plant-based version of our products?” As a result, we may become the “Intel Inside” of other goods, “Matias Muchnick, Chief Executive Officer of NotCo, said Reuters.
Plant-based meals have become increasingly popular among health-conscious and environmentally aware customers, causing numerous companies to develop their own versions in response to the success of industry giants Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.
Demand for plant-based faux meat has increased throughout the epidemic as people seek safe and nutritious alternatives. According to data company PitchBook, investment in plant-based meals reached around $1.7 billion in 2020, nearly double that of 2019. It expects the market for alternative proteins to reach over $8 billion this year.
“The plant-based food category was made more popular by Covid-19. The category had tremendous development, “Muchnick explained. NotCo debuted its plant-based milk NotMilk in the United States seven months ago and expects to have 8,000 retail locations by the end of the year, according to the company.