An array of venture capital firms are seeing a lot of potential in the vegan consumer packaged goods sector, so they are making major investments in some of these companies.
Beyond Meat has quickly emerged as one of the bigger players in the plant-based protein game. Besides being the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section at Whole Foods, the company has attracted investors like Tyson Foods, Bill Gates, and Leonardo Dicaprio, along with vegan-focused venture firms like Stray Dog Capital, New Crop Capital, and PowerPlant Ventures.
“We’ve seen a real explosion in new venture capital firms focused specifically on the food space as well as more traditional tech and venture capital investors making some of their first investments into food,” said Zoe Leavitt, a senior intelligence analyst at data firm CB Insights. “As of last year, the sheer number of unique investors participating in the food and beverage space had more than doubled since 2013. There is definitely a lot of excitement there.”
Another vegan company attracting investors is Califia Farms. Dicaprio and other celebrities like Jared Leto have invested in this milk brand.
Other vegan milk brands like Temasek and Mooala are also getting more funding from venture capitalists.
Investors are especially interested in the vegan snack sector. Dicaprio has invested in Hippeas, a company with vegan chickpea-based snacks. So far, the brand has completed a $10 million round of funding from CAVU Venture Partners.
This sector only continues to grow as today's consumers' eating habits are completely different than 15 years ago.
“Consumers aren’t eating and drinking and consuming the same brands that our parents used to. Most of the brands in our pantries and refrigerators weren’t around 15 years ago… There has been a ton of disruption in the trend toward better-for-you, more transparency, and higher quality," said Clayton Christopher, co-founder and partner of CAVU Venture Partners.
Read more about the spike in venture capital firms investing in vegan companies at "Live Kindly."