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Nature’s Fynd is set to deliver its fungi protein to the world in 2022, after bagging $350 million from major names including SoftBank and Blackstone in its Series C. Dubbed Fy, the company’s sustainable flagship novel protein is developed using fermentation technology.
Nature’s Fynd, the food company behind Fy, has just secured $350 million in its latest Series C round. The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and saw big-name new investors like Blackstone Strategic Partners and Balyasny Asset Management join in.
Previously, the startup has been backed by celebrity investors like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Al Gore, and Jack Ma. The latest funding takes Nature’s Fynd’s total raised to date to over $500 million.
Kickstarting commercial production
Armed with its latest capital injection, Nature’s Fynd says it’ll be starting commercial production of Fy — the company’s flagship nutritional fungi-based protein grown using its proprietary fermentation technology.
It was developed using microbial research conducted for NASA in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park. According to the firm, Fy uses just a “fraction of the land, water and energy” compared to traditional animal agriculture.
“In the past year, we showed that we can grow Fy at commercial scale leveraging robotics and automation in our new state-of-the-art facility in Chicago’s historic Union Stockyards,” shared Thomas Jonas, co-founder and CEO of Nature’s Fynd.
Retail this year, global rollout in 2022
Expanding its production capacity is part of the company’s plan to deliver its products globally by 2022. It recently used Fy to create a “Breakfast Bundle” trial of vegan sausage patties and dairy-free cream cheese, which were sold out within 24 hours. The product contains all the essential amino acids.
Having received a “no questions” letter from the FDA in response to its GRAS food safety application, Nature’s Fynd expects to begin entering retail shelves in selected stores within the U.S. this year. By next year, the startup is expected to enter international markets, but has not specified what alt-protein products it plans to introduce.
“In 2022, we will bring our branded Fy based foods to consumers in the U.S., expand to new geographies with a special focus on Asia where there is substantial demand and need for sustainable protein,” shared Nature’s Fynd CEO and co-founder Thomas Jonas.
Jonas added that the firm will “create multiple brand-aligned partnerships for retail, quick-serve restaurants (QSR) and emerging high growth channels.”
Nature’s Fynd’s global ambitions will likely be aided by its strong international cohort of investors, not least Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. Angela Du, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said that the firm will “help them scale their business and capture the tremendous global opportunities in front of them.”
Last year, Nature’s Fynd revealed that it is already seeking regulatory approval in mainland China and in Hong Kong, and will be adapting its fungi-based protein into Asian dishes to gear up for expansion in the region.
Expanding Fy alt-protein portfolio
The Series C funds will additionally enable the startup to grow its alt-protein range. It says it plans to expand its portfolio to cover products “from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.”
“We know consumers today expect great tasting meat and dairy alternatives without compromising on health or sustainability,” said Jonas. “Fy — our natural, complete vegan protein delivers on all fronts.”
“We can meet our consumers’ expectations for delicious meat and dairy alternatives with no tradeoffs,” the CEO continued.
Previously, Nature’s Fynd shared that Fy is suitable for a wide range of F&B applications, including in meat and dairy alternatives, beverages, ready meals, dried pasta and noodles, baking goods and oils, and dressings.
Lead image courtesy of Nature’s Fynd.