Chilean food-tech firm NotCo has raised $85 million in a Series C funding round, as it announces the expansion of its plant-based milk and meat products to the US market.
The round was co-led by Future Positive – which has invested in Beyond Meat and Memphis Meat – and consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton. They join existing investors such as Kaszek Ventures, Indie Bio and Bezos Expeditions which also participated in a $30 million funding round in the company last year.
Founded in 2015, NotCo uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop plant-based foods. Its portfolio consists of NotMilk, NotBurger, NotIceCream and NotMayo which have been launched in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
According to NotCo, in less than three years it has become the largest and fastest-growing food-tech company in Latin America.
The new funding comes as the company announces scaled up operations and its plans for international expansion, beginning with its entry into the US. NotCo says it will evaluate both food service and retail partners as a part of this expansion, building on from its NotBurger and NotMeat partnerships with Burger King and Papa John’s in Chile.
“We are pleased to partner with a true disruptor in the food-tech industry,” said Ramiro Lauzan, partner at L Catterton Latin America.
He added: “NotCo is pursuing a fundamentally original way of replacing animal-based foods with more sustainable alternatives through the application of food science and innovative technology. By leveraging our experience in ‘better for you’ businesses around the world, and working alongside NotCo’s talented team, we look forward to materialising the company’s successful expansion into the US market.”
To assist its international expansion plans, a number of senior executives from multi-national brands join the company, while NotCo’s co-founders, Matias Muchnick (CEO) and Karim Pichara (CTO), will now be based in the US.
Flavia Buchmann, formerly in charge of the Sprite global business for Coca-Cola, will take up the position of global CMO; former Danone executive Catriel Giuliano will head the global R&D; while Jose Menendez, formerly at tech-company Jeffries and Tapad, will serve as global COO.
Fred Blackford, co-founder of Future Positive, said: “We are inspired by the vision and global ambition for the NotCo brand, and impressed by the quality of NotCo’s products, which speak for themselves. We see vast potential for the company’s technology, which is creating new product categories faster and more accurately than anyone else in the industry.”
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