Category: meat substitutes

Mushroom-based meat alternative startup Fable Food raises $6.5M AUD, will launch in the US



Sydney, Australia-based Fable Food is the latest plant-based food startup to announce funding. The company, which uses mushrooms in its meat alternatives, has raised $6.5 million AUD (about $4.8 million USD) in a seed round led by Blackbird Ventures, the Australian venture capital firm whose portfolio also includes Canva, Culture Amp and SafetyCulture. Other participants included agriculture and food tech venture firm AgFunder, sustainability-focused Aera VC and Better Bite Ventures, along with Singapore-based produce importer Ban Choon Marketing and former Sequoia Capital partner Warren Hogarth.

Fable is preparing to launch in the United States by the end of this year. In Australia, its products are available at retailers like Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm Markets, along with restaurants including Grill’d, which recently started serving its Meaty Mushroom Burger Pattie at 136 locations. Fable’s products are also available at restaurants in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

The startup was founded in 2019 by fine dining chef turned chemical engineer and mycologist (mushroom scientist) Jim Fuller, organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin and Michael Fox, whose previous startup was Shoes of Prey.

Fox, Fable’s chief executive officer, told TechCrunch in an email that after being a vegetarian for six years, he recently became a vegan “for a mix of health, environmental and ethical reasons.”

“Talking to my friends and family, a lot of people want to reduce their meat consumption for the same reasons but they find it challenging because they love the taste and texture of meat and giving it up is (Read more...)

Next Gen Foods to launch its plant-based chicken in the U.S. after raising a $20M seed extension from investors like GGV



Singapore-based Next Gen Foods will bring its plant-based chicken alternative to the United States after raising a $20 million seed extension. Investors included GGV Capital, agriculture and food tech-focused Bits x Bites, food and beverage company Yeo Hiap Seng, entrepreneur and “Blitzscaling” author Chris Yeh and English footballer Dele Alli.

Returning investors include Temasek, which led Next Gen Foods’ original $10 million seed round, announced in February, and K3 Ventures. The first $10 million was already the largest seed funding ever raised by a plant-based food tech company, based on data from Pitchbook, and now the round totals $30 million. Part of the funding will be used to fill 50 roles in the U.S. for its research and development, sales, supply chain and finance and marketing teams. 

Next Gen also announced changes to its leadership team. Co-founder Timo Recker is moving from his chief executive officer position to chairman, while Andre Menezes, another founder, will take over the CEO spot. Former Temasek director Rohit Bhattacharya will join the startup as its chief financial officer. 

Next Gen’s chicken alternative, called TiNDLE, launched in Asia through partnerships with restaurants and is now served in more than 70 locations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. Over the next 12 months, Next Gen will take a similar approach as it enters the U.S., working with food services in cities to develop TiNDLE dishes for their menus. Eventually it (Read more...)