Planted, an ETH Zurich spin-off creating all-natural plant-based meats, has closed an $18.2 million Series A funding round
Luxembourg-based investment firm Blue Horizon Ventures said it has joined forces with Vorwerk Ventures and co-led a Series A round for Planted, an ETH Zurich spin-off creating all-natural plant-based meats. Swiss football star Yann Sommer and some of the existing investors also joined the round, which closed at CHF$17 million ($18.2 million).
Christoph Jenny founded Planted in 2019 alongside Eric Stirnemann, Lukas Böni, and Pascal Bieri. The company uses cutting edge technology to turn four natural ingredients into plant-based meat that mimics the taste, texture, and mouthfeel of traditional animal meat.
In a statement sent to NutritionInvestor, Jenny said this investment represents a milestone for the company on its ‘fast and furious’ mission to replace animal meat with all clean and natural plant-based meat. “We are delighted to have two co-leads on board, who are well-known for their unique track-record working with consumer-centric ventures and have a deep understanding of the food tech market, especially alternative proteins.”
Blue Horizon Ventures joined the Series A round of Planted with a CHF$5.6 million ($5.9 million) commitment. Michael Kleindl, founder and managing partner of Blue Horizon Ventures will join the board.
“The team of the fund has been following the development and growth of the company and we’re excited to welcome Planted to the Blue Horizon Ventures Fund I portfolio,” Blue Horizon said in the statement.
Headquartered in Zurich, Planted had raised CHF$7.2 million ($7.7 million) in seed funding from seven investors. The latest round closed in March with CHF$100,000 ($107,000) from Venture Kick, a private, philanthropic initiative that provides pre-seed funding to entrepreneurs from Swiss universities.
Planted product range
The Planted product line comprises plant-based chicken, pork and kebab made with different protein sources – peas, oats and sunflowers. The company’s trade-marked products are planted; chicken, planted; pulled and planted; and kebab.
These products are sold in more than 3,000 retail locations in Switzerland (Coop & Migros), Germany (Edeka) and Austria (Spar). Planted also supplies hundreds of foodservice partners, and offers business-to-consumer sales through its web shop.
“It’s fantastic to see how our products resonate with consumers and partners all over Europe,” said co-founder Bieri. “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. We’re excited to further strengthen our international footprint with the current funding, expanding our product range and extend our partner-network.”
To match the soaring demand for new sustainable food products, the company will make significant investments in R&D.
Planted is also working on developing its fermentation technologies to enhance product structure and taste. Co-founder Böni explained: “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.”
Date published: 8 March 2021