Yangyoo nears $10m bridge financing closure as it prepares to build a US team and production facility
Armored Fresh presented its product suite at major tech conference CES in Las Vegas in January

Yangyoo, a South Korean plant-based cheese start-up is preparing to enter the US as it nears the end of a $10 million bridge financing round in February or March. 

The round includes investment from Korea Development Bank (KDB), while the company is also in talks with many other investors in Korea, US, and Singapore, including a leading New York based foodtech accelerator which has previously backed alt-protein heavy-hitter Good Catch and cultured meat innovator Biftek. 

Speaking to NutritionInvestor, Andrew Yu, president for Yangyoo’s cheese brand Armored Fresh, said: “We closed our Series A round back in June 2020 and KDB was a lead investor while we had three other investors on that raise.

“Several weeks ago the same investor said it would fund half of this latest round, so with new investor interests we might actually be oversubscribed which is a good problem to have,” Yu added. 

The bridge round will help Yangyoo fund its operational and product expansion into the US. Yu said the North American roadmap includes local production facilities and building out a US team, to be led by him. 

Although South Korea is a very nascent plant-based cheese market, the company is in talks with major local distributors as well as several national retailers.  One retailer of global prominence has expressed interest in replacing all its dairy cheese offerings with Yangyoo’s products. 

Yangyoo maintains existing relationships with local retailers and distributors through its sister food brand which produces rice cake snacks and pizzas. 

It plans to launch its Series B later in 2022.

Investopedia defines bridge financing as an interim financing option used by companies to solidify their short-term position until a long-term financing option can be arranged.

Date published: 19 January 2022

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