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Planted, a Zürich-based plant-based meat startup, has closed its Series A funding round with CHF 17 million (approx. US$18.1 million). The funds will go towards its international expansion plans and further R&D to grow its unique plant-based meat range made from diverse protein sources such as peas, oats and sunflowers.
Planted has bagged CHF 17 million (approx. US$18.1 million) in its Series A round, co-led by Swiss food tech focused venture capital firm Blue Horizon Ventures and Vorwerk Ventures, the consumer-focused investment arm of German conglomerate Vorwerk. The round also saw participation from Swiss professional footballer Yann Sommer, as well as a number of existing investors, the company announced on Monday (March 8).
We’re excited to further strengthen our international footprint with the current funding, expanding our product range and extend[ing] our partner-network.Pascal Bieri, Co-Founder, Planted
The startup, which was a spin-off from the ETH Zürich university, says that the capital will go towards expanding its product range and introducing its plant-based meat alternatives to new international markets. As a part of the round, Blue Horizon Ventures’ founder and managing partner Michael Kleindl will join the Planted’s board.
Commenting on its future plans following the investment round, Planted co-founder Pascal Bieri said: “We’re excited to further strengthen our international footprint with the current funding, expanding our product range and extend[ing] our partner-network.”
Lukas Böni, who co-founded Planted alongside Bieri, Christoph Jenny and Eric Stirnemann, says that the funding will also help the brand make significant R&D inroads with the view of improving its existing range, as well as creating new, better-tasting natural plant-based products with clean ingredients by employing fermentation technologies as well.
“We will further invest in our structuring and fermentation platforms. Combining structuring technologies with the biochemical toolboxes of natural microorganisms will allow us to create ultimately new products with transformative character — all clean, natural, healthy and tasty,” explained Böni.
Currently, the brand offers 100% plant-based chicken, pulled meat and kebab alternatives, each made from different plant protein crops such as peas, oats and sunflowers, through completely natural mechanical and thermal processes that require no additives or synthetic ingredients.
Combining structuring technologies with the biochemical toolboxes of natural microorganisms will allow us to create ultimately new products with transformative character — all clean, natural, healthy and tasty.Lukas Böni, Co-Founder, Planted
The range is available to consumers at over 3,000 retail outlets in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, as well as foodservice partners, as well as through its e-commerce store.
Bieri says that amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company has experienced a significant uptick in the demand for their products, which stand out in the increasingly competitive plant-based space because of its minimally processed ingredient profile – attracting shoppers who are searching for sustainable alternatives that also deliver on nutrition and health.
“It’s fantastic to see how our products resonate with consumers and partners all over Europe. Unique aspects such as our natural, healthy, non-artificial ingredients and incredible taste make all the difference and are being valued by an increasing number of customers,” Bieri commented.
A number of plant-based brands have also taken a similar health-focused approach to marketing their products, such as new Los Angeles-based shelf stable pea protein meat alternative brand Longève, and vegan chicken makers Daring, who recently closed US$8 million in a Series A round led by Maveron, the venture capital co-founded by Starbucks’ Howard Schultz.
All images courtesy of Planted.