Atlast Food Co., the food tech behind the plant-based mycelium bacon alternative, has closed US$40 million in its Series A financing round to expand its whole cut plant-based meat platform. The round, which saw participation from leading alternative protein investors as well as the leaders of multiple CPG giants, will also go towards building the largest mycelium production facility in the U.S.
Atlast has secured US$40 million in a Series A funding round led by American hedge fund Viking Global Investors, the startup has announced today (April 15). Other investors joining the round include industrial investment management firm 40 North, tech-focused venture firm AiiM Partners, New York hedge fund Senator Investment Group, Robert Downey Jr.’s new climate fund Footprint Coalition Ventures, and alternative protein venture capital Stray Dog Capital.
Leaders and founders of multiple big food and CPG corporations, including names from Applegate Farms, Stonyfield and Whole Foods also participated in the round, said Atlast, who will use the new capital to fuel its continued growth, development and scaling up of its mycelium technology.
We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the U.S. to provide consumers nationwide with a tastier alternative to their favourite animal proteins.Stephen Lomnes, President, Atlast Food Co.
The funding news comes just months after Atlast launched its first product on the market, MyBacon, a mycelium-based vegan bacon alternative that realistically mimics the cut and fatty streaks of the much-beloved meat. It is made from just six ingredients, and stands out from existing alternatives by offering consumers the multi-sensory experience of “whole cuts” of animal proteins.
“This investment will allow us to meet the incredible demand we’ve felt for our product,” commented Atlast president Stephen Lomnes. “We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the U.S. to provide consumers nationwide with a tastier alternative to their favourite animal proteins.”
To build out its new “Aerial Mycelium Farm” production facility and further expand its mycelium platform, Atlast will work with New York mycelium biotech Ecovative, from which Atlast was spun-off in 2019. This will enable the food tech to begin supplying major partners at commercial scale, including foodservice and grocery chains, as well as continuing to offer its product directly to consumers through its MyEats brand. Ecovative itslef raised US$60 million earlier this month, bringing the total raised by the two companies to a whopping US$100 million in one month.
Commenting on the decision to back Atlast, Iron Man actor and celebrity activist Robert Downey Jr., who founded Footprint Coalition Ventures in early 2021 to catalyse sustainable technologies, said: “If you love bacon and the planet, Atlast has created a six-ingredient solution for enjoying one without harming the other.
“Atlast has a great team, a strong business plan and the full (undying) support of my Kunekune pigs, Ladybug and Pops,” Downey Jr. continued.
Atlast is creating a new category of plant-based foods by offering whole cut options.Lisa Feria, CEO, Stray Dog Capital
Lisa Feria, CEO of Stray Dog Capital, the venture capital that lists some of the most prominent brands in the plant-based space in its portfolio, including Miyoko’s Creamery and Beyond Meat, added that Atlast represents the next frontier in alternative proteins with its focus on whole cut analogues.
“Atlast is creating a new category of plant-based foods by offering whole cut options,” explained Feria. “Mycelium, Atlast’s unique ingredient, is nutritious, versatile, and scalable — consumers should get ready to see a lot more mycelium in their stores and on their plates.”
“The Atlast team is advancing that mission for the 21st century to give today’s brands and consumers new plant based alternatives that mimic the texture and flavor of whole cut meats,” added Applegate Farms founder Stephen McDonnell.
All images courtesy of Atlast Food Co.