U.S.-based Stray Dog Capital, a venture capital that focuses on investing in alternative protein, has backed Israel-based Chunk Foods in its seed funding round that also saw support from Good Seed Ventures, and the E14 Fund, amounting to a total raise of US$2 million for the startup.
Started by Amos Golan in 2020, Chunk Foods was born at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and aims to make large-scale production of healthy and whole-muscle meat alternatives a reality. With the help of solid-state fermentation and by combining plant-based ingredients and food-grade organisms, the startup is working on creating beef alternatives without using any gums, stabilizers, or GMOs in the process.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Partner at Stray Dog Capital, Johnny Ream, said that the VC firm is beyond excited to add Chunk Foods to its portfolio. “Development of plant-based alternative proteins that resemble traditional whole-muscle products such as steak is often regarded as the most difficult and complex to achieve. We believe Chunk’s technologies and proprietary processes have strong potential to play a significant role in bringing these types of products to market and we’re looking forward to being on this journey with the team.”
The amount raised will help Chunk Foods to improve the quality of its products as well as make impactful hires that will take the startup to the next stage.
Founder and CEO of Chunk Foods Amos Golan said of the round: “Consumers expect healthy, nutritious and clean label options for their daily staples like meat and fish. They want their food to be aligned with their values, and they’re no longer willing to make compromises.”
Development of plant-based alternative proteins that resemble traditional whole-muscle products such as steak is often regarded as the most difficult and complex to achieve. We believe Chunk’s technologies and proprietary processes have strong potential to play a significant role in bringing these types of products to marketJohnny Ream, Partner at Stray Dog Capital
Golan added that whole muscle cuts of beef like sirloin, chuck or ribs have been the “Holy Grail for alternative meats as they account for about 60% of the beef market in the USA”. “We have overcome the technological limitations of other approaches by naturally creating delicious and realistic products with many of the attributes of meat, while ensuring a clean and short ingredient list using our novel fermentation technology. Stray Dog Capital shares our vision of the future of food and we’re excited to be partnering to make that vision into reality.”
According to the Good Food Institute(GFI), in 2020 alone, alternative protein firms witnessed around US$3.1 billion in investments alone, and especially companies like Chunk Foods that are working on fermentation technology, raised around US$600 million in investments last year.
In an exclusive interview with Sally Ho from Green Queen, CEO and General Partner of Stray Dog Capital, Lisa Feria, discussed the massive growth that the alternative food-tech industry has faced in just past the year. “Thanks to millennials, Gen Zs and the younger generation, as they are the ones demanding a better food system. This is because they’re making and willing to make the trips to the second grocery store to pick up these products to pay a little bit more for them. They’re willing to make some sacrifices with the long-term goal of building a more robust food system in mind. In the past five or six years that we’ve been very heavily investing, that dynamic has changed dramatically.”
Lead image courtesy of Stray Dog Capital and Chunk Foods.