Sustainable Food Ventures: First Rolling Fund For Alt Protein Debuts On AngelList

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Launched by impact investor and plant-based pet food brand Wild Earth founder and CEO Ryan Bethencourt and Mariliis Holm, the former head of science at cell-based seafood pioneers Finless Foods, Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV) is the first rolling fund on AngelList dedicated to backing future foods companies. The fund will invest in early-stage founders around the globe that are building plant-based, cell-based and recombinant food techs with a mission to accelerate innovation and growth in the alternative protein space.

Announced today (September 30), Bethencourt and Holm have launched Sustainable Food Ventures, the first rolling fund on the AngelList platform investing in the next generation of innovators developing solutions to meet the world’s food challenges. The Plant CEO podcast was first to break the news on Episode 21 during which the co-founders were interviewed. Currently, the rolling fund has over US$1.5 million committed for this quarter, with a target to reach a total fund size of US$6 million to US$10 million over the next year and is available for all global accredited investors on the AngelList platform.

“Our mission is to support founders developing sustainable food products and scaling profitable companies in the global US$12 trillion food and grocery retail market,” said Bethencourt and Holm.

SFV will be investing between US$50,000 to US$150,000 into each company and will aim to be among the first or earliest money in. It will target companies globally and locally within the South of the U.S., with a particular focus on new markets and opportunities for alternative proteins. Among the first investors already committed to the rolling fund is Dr. Sandhya Sriram, the co-founder and CEO of Shiok Meats. 

Unlike traditional VC funds, SFV is a more democratic approach to venture funding. Known as rolling funds, a term coined by AngelList, or subscription funds, the vehicles are structured as a series of quarterly funds rather than a one-time commitment, giving investors the flexibility to put forward more or less capital as aligned with their own investment goals. The minimum quarterly subscription is US$5,000, making it an accessible entry point for a range of investor profiles both in the U.S. and internationally- the only requirement for investors is that they qualify with AngelList.

I am particularly excited to back and work with talented female founders leading the future of food space.

Mariliis Holm, Co-Founder of SFV

Bethencourt is the current CEO of Wild Earth, the plant-based pet food brand that has attracted investment from major figures including Paypal co-founder and Facebook’s first investor Peter Thiel and Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank. He has also backed over 120 early-stage food and biotech startups in the past six years, being the first investor in several of the leading companies in the space, including Memphis Meats, Geltor, The NotCo and Shiok Meats. 

As the managing partner of SFV, Bethencourt will be sourcing deal flow and leading investment decisions in plant-based, cell-based and recombinant protein food tech entrepreneurs. 

Our mission is to support founders developing sustainable food products and scaling profitable companies in the global US$12 trillion food and grocery retail market.

Ryan Bethencourt & Mariliis Holm, Co-Founders of SFV

Holm will be managing scientific diligence and day-to-day operations of SFV, backed by her years of experience and knowledge in the industry. She previously worked as the former head of food science at Finless Foods following roles in R&D at Mondelez and IFF, and also co-founded algae-based protein company Nonfood

“While Ryan is the veteran in business and fundraising at SFV, I have a decade of experience in the food industry from founding startups to working at top companies and research institutes around the globe,” Holm told Green Queen. “I am particularly excited to back and work with talented female founders leading the future of food space.”


Lead image courtesy of Wildtype / Rachelle Hacmac.


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