The Jeff Bezos-Backed Vegan Unicorn NotCo Raises $70 Million to Scale Up B2B Tech
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NotCo, the Jeff Bezos-backed Chilean vegan food tech company working with a novel AI tool to develop plant-based milk, meat, and chicken, has announced the closing of a $70 million Series D1.
With funding led by Princeville Capital and existing backers Jeff Bezos through his Bezos Expeditions, Tiger Global, L Catterton, Kaszek Ventures, Future Positive, and The Craftory, as well as new backers Marcos Galperin, founder and CEO of the largest Latin American tech company, MercadoLibre. The funding underscores the food giant’s $1.5 billion valuation.
AI-developed vegan food
NotCo’s AI tech, which it’s dubbed Giuseppe, helps it to identify ingredients that can best mirror the taste, texture, and nutrition profiles of animal products. It recently announced a partnership with Kraft Heinz to bring plant-based versions of some of the brand’s iconic products to market. The first items to launch are vegan cheese slices similar to the popular Kraft Singles.
The company’s own brand of products has taken off over the last several years after becoming the first investment of Bezos Expedition in Latin America in 2019. Its product lineup under the ‘Not’ label includes burgers, meat, milk, chicken, mayonnaise, and ice cream available across LATAM countries including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. It’s also increasing its shelf space in the crowded refrigerated and frozen sets across 10,000 stores in the U.S. It is now the fastest-growing food tech company in Latin America.
“Since day one, our mission has been to create a more sustainable world, transforming the food industry by creating delicious plant-based food available for all tables, kitchens and pantries,” NotCo co-founder and CEO, Matias Muchnick, said in a statement.
‘New, impactful partnerships’
“Building off the example of our joint venture with Kraft Heinz, we’re excited to develop new, impactful partnerships leveraging our proprietary technology. These partnerships will help diversify and accelerate our impact while scaling the accessibility of truly delicious plant-based options to further propel the industry forward,”Muchnick said.
The new funding will fuel NotCo’s new B2B efforts, which it says include other CPG brand partnerships, as well as suppliers and technology providers, enabling them to use the Giuseppe AI.
“The food industry desperately needs to adopt technology to dramatically accelerate the product development process, reduce cost and address the challenges posed by climate change. NotCo is a very unique company in the food tech space globally with immense potential thanks to the team they have built and its one-of-a-kind AI technology,” said Joaquin Rodriguez Torres, co-founder of Princeville Capital. He also joins NotCo’s board of directors. “It’s rare to find a company with such an incredible track record of success in a short period of time, and we’re excited to help bolster the company’s growth and expansion.”