Swiss vegan meat startup Planted has secured CHF 19 million (approx. US$21 million) in a pre-Series B financing round. The company will use this capital to drive the growth of its existing plant-based meat portfolio and launch new products, including vegan schnitzel and whole cut meats, all created from plant proteins such as oats, peas, and sunflowers.
One of Switzerland’s only alternative protein startups, Zürich-based Planted has successfully closed its pre-Series B financing round. Investors include Vorwerk Ventures, the consumer-focused investment arm of German conglomerate Vorwerk, and Stockholm-based Gullspång Re:food, a family-owned fund supporting companies that are building towards a resilient food system like OATLY. Both investors have supported the startup in the past.
Movendo Capital, Good Seed Ventures, Joyance, ACE & Company (SFG strategy) and Be8 Venture participated in the round too with Swiss professional footballer Yann Sommer joining aswell.
Founded in July 2019, Planted announced a Series A round of CHF 17 million (approx. US$18.1 million) in March of this year. Total funding to date according to Crunchbase stands at US 46.5 million.
In a statement, managing partner at Gullspång Re:food, Peter Odemark commented on the funding: “Gullspång Re:food is excited to partner with Planted as part of their quest to back the most promising alternative protein companies. Developing sustainable meat alternatives is one of the most critical shifts the food system must undergo during the coming years to reach a sustainable and resilient state.”
Replicating meat textures
Planted is a spinoff from Swiss research university ETH Zurich. The founders use wet moisture extrustion, a technique that extrudes plant proteins and water to convert into fibrous structures that look, feel and taste like traditional meat.
Since its launch, the company has incorporated plant protein sources like oats, peas, and sunflowers to create clean-label vegan meat products. These include chicken pieces that have only four ingredients, as well as pulled pork and lamb kebab analogs.
Developing sustainable meat alternatives is one of the most critical shifts the food system must undergo during the coming years to reach a sustainable and resilient statePeter Odemark, managing partner at Gullspång Re:food
Co-founder of Planted, Christoph Jenny said that these two rounds reflect the support of investors and the demand for its products in the market. “We are growing fast in our existing markets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France. With the additional capital, we will accelerate international growth and expand our product range.”
According to a report, food-tech startups in Europe collectively raised €2.7 billion (US$3.2 billion) last year. A majority of the investment was propelled by the alternative protein industry, with a triple-digit growth recorded in regional funding in the sector.
Expanding to new markets
At the moment, the company offers its products in retailers like Edeka, Coop, Migros, and Spar across Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France. In addition, it distributes its products through foodservice partners and manages B2C sales via its webshop.
Planted now plans to use the collective capital secured in both rounds to enter new markets in Q3 and Q4 of this year.
It makes us very proud to see how our products excite so many consumers all over Europe. Unique aspects such as our natural, healthy, non-artificial ingredients, the incredible fibre-structure and taste make all the differencePascal Bieri, co-founder, Planted
“It makes us very proud to see how our products excite so many consumers all over Europe. Unique aspects such as our natural, healthy, non-artificial ingredients, the incredible fibre structure and taste make all the difference. We’re excited to further strengthen our international footprint with the current funding, expanding our product range and extend our network of partners that share our passion for making a positive impact on this planet”, said Pascal Bieri, co-founder of Planted.
Scaling production of whole cuts
Currently in development are whole cuts of vegan meat, which are made using fermentation-based methods and are expected to launch by the end of 2021. Coming up in Q3 is schnitzel, the Northern European dish whereby a slice of meat (traditional veal or chicken) is pounded thin, then breaded and fried.
Co-founder Lukas Böni said that so far, the prototypes are promising. “Now we need to test with consumers, fine-tune and scale them. Strong backing by investors gives us the ability to fast-track testing and put substantial resources behind the scale-up.”
Lead image courtesy of Planted.