An Australian startup backed by the CSIRO which makes plant-based “meat” today announced it has raised $35 million in series A funding. The startup, v2food, will use the capital for more research and development, and to build a new production facility in regional Australia.
The company launched last month promising to disrupt the food industry by offering plant-based meat alternatives which it claims look, cook, and taste like meat. Named as a nod to the next “version” of food production, v2food products are already used in Hungry Jacks Rebel Whopper, a meat-free version of the fast food company’s famous hamburger.
With the CSIRO’s help, the company produces plant-based “protein textures”, “flavour systems” and a “binding system” which, when combined, mimic the raw materials used in meat production. Essentially, V2 offers manufacturers the raw ingredients in such a way that they do not have to change their existing meat production processes. For end users there is “no compromise” on taste, according to the company.
Backed at launch by the CSIRO and Competitive Foods CEO and Hungry Jacks founder, Jack Cowin, v2food’s latest funding round is led by Main Sequence Ventures, the capital arm of the CSIRO’s Innovation Fund, and Horizon Ventures, a private investment firm which has previously funded Spotify, Zoom, and Impossible Foods.
Other new investors include Fairfax Family investment fund Marinya Capital and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China.
“This is an important step towards v2food’s goal of transforming the way the world produces food,” said Nick Hazell v2food Founder and CEO.
“There is a big shortfall between the amount of meat we produce today and the amount needed to feed the growing global population. There will be nearly 10 billion people on Earth by 2050. Our mission is clear — to provide everyday people with plant-based meat that tastes great and is good for the environment. It’s imperative that we scale quickly because these global issues need immediate solutions and we are fortunate to have secured these outstanding global partners to help propel us forward.”
The startup says it will continue to launch new products in outlets across Australia in the coming months. It has not yet decided on a location for the new research and production facility.