Lypid raises $4m seed round for vegan fats

San Francisco start-up has created vegan fats aiming to replicate the taste and behaviour of animal fats
Lypid PhytoFat in vegan bacon
Lypid PhytoFat in vegan bacon

San Francisco-based Lypid, creator of vegan fats aiming to replicate the taste and behaviour of animal fats, has raised a $4 million seed round led by Green Generation Fund, with participation from Big Idea Ventures, Foodland Ventures, SOSV’s IndieBio, and others.

Processed using the company’s novel formulation and the microencapsulation method, Lypid’s product, PhytoFat, maintains its animal fat-like qualities when cooked above 329 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). The company says its formulation and technique produce vegan fats with juicy animal-like textures and melting behaviours, extended flavour delivery, and a better nutritional profile than other plant-based fats. With no artificial additives, no hydrogenation, and containing zero trans fats, Lypid is positioning PhytoFat as a healthier alternative to the current plant-based protein market, which relies heavily on palm oil and coconut oil for ingredients.

Lypid’s founders, Taiwanese PhDs who met at Cornell University, Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee said the funds will be used to bring their product to market this year, after which they plan to expand further in the US, Europe and Asia.

Dr Manon Sarah Littek, founding partner and lead investor of Green Generation Fund, said: “Not only since the pandemic, the market for plant-based meat has exploded. But plant-based meat has a long way to go – and that’s because it’s missing a convincing equivalent to animal fat. Our team is looking forward to supporting Michelle and Jen-Yu in launching their product to market and building an outstanding ingredient provider in order to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.”

The Lypid founders stated that they transitioned from the mindset of scientists to that of entrepreneurs to form their B2B go-to-market strategy, after participating in the SOSV life sciences programme IndieBio last year.

Huang said: “We see fat as a critical catalyst to bring meat alternatives to the next level –tastier, healthier, and more sustainable. Now our goal is to bring production of PhytoFat to the industrial level. We are aiming to produce more than 10 tons per year for each production line.”

Lypid's co-founders Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee
Lypid’s co-founders Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee