Amid a turbulent global picture due to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies with promising ideas have continued to attract big investments in 2020.
FoodBev takes a look back at some of the year’s major funding stories highlighting key trends and innovations in the food and beverage industry.
Califia Farms raises $225m to expand its plant-based platform
In January, plant-based beverage maker Califia Farms announced that it had secured $225 million in what it said was one of the largest private capital raisings within the natural foods sector.
The Series D financing was led by the Qatar Investment Authority, with other investors including Temasek, Claridge and Green Monday Ventures.
The California-based company planned to use the funds to build on the success of its oat platform, as well as to launch other product lines. Califia also said that the new capital would allow it to invest in increased production capacity, research and development, and continued global expansion.
Impossible Foods receives $500m in Series F funding round
As the plant-based market has boomed, the meat alternatives sector has attracted the support of investors in 2020, as witnessed by Impossible Foods’ approximately $500 million funding round announced in March.
The Series F round was followed less than six months later by a further $200 million raise. 2020 also saw the company launch its first new product since the Impossible Burger debuted in 2016.
Impossible Foods said that it planned to use the funds from both rounds to accelerate its manufacturing scale-up, expand its retail presence and international availability, and support research and innovation.
Second tranche brings Perfect Day’s Series C funding to $300m
This year has also been fruitful for alternative protein fermentation companies, which attracted a record $435 million in investment during the first seven months of 2020 alone, according to The Good Food Institute.
This included the fermentation industry’s largest ever raise, Perfect Day’s $300 million expanded Series C round. The company later confirmed that it had secured an additional investment bringing the round to $400 million.
Since being founded in 2014, Perfect Day has been developing and scaling a method for producing functional protein through the fermentation of microflora. The food tech start-up claims that the proteins created in this process are identical to the proteins found in cow’s milk, imparting to food products the nutrition, texture and taste of conventional dairy.
Vertical farming firm Infarm raises $170m in funding round
In a year in which the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in food supply chains globally, a number of urban agriculture firms have secured substantial investments, including Infarm’s Series C funding round.
Founded in 2013, Infarm is a vertical farming ‘network’ which has developed a modular farming system. This allows for the creation of ‘farms’ in urban environments such as supermarkets, restaurants and distribution centres, so that produce is “grown as close as possible to people”.
The Berlin-based company, which aims to have 5 million square feet of connected farms active by 2025, said that its latest round would drive its global growth strategy.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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