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US: Fungi-based protein maker secures $350m in Series C

Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd prepares to expand product portfolio as its alternative-protein is greenlit by FDA
Nature’s Fynd to launch with selected retailers later in the year

Alternative-protein manufacturer Nature’s Fynd has raised $350 million in its Series C financing round, which was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.

New investors Blackstone Strategic Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Hillhouse Investment, EDBI, SK Inc. and Hongkou also supported the round.

The Chicago-based company will use the capital to fund strategic partnerships, expand its production capacity and venture into new products.

Nature’s Fynd has raised over $500 million since its inception in 2012.

Its ‘Fy’ protein, produced via fermentation of a fungi that grows naturally in Yellowstone National Park, received FDA approval in June.

Thomas Jonas, Nature’s Fynd CEO and co-founder, said: “In 2022, we will bring our branded Fy-based foods to consumers in the US, expand to new geographies with a special focus on Asia where there is substantial demand and need for sustainable protein and create multiple brand-aligned partnerships for retail, quick-serve restaurants (QSR) and emerging high growth channels.”

Angela Du, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “Nature’s Fynd is combining its unique fermentation technology with robotics to develop protein-rich foods that are significantly more sustainable to create, and produced in a fraction of the time as animal- and soy-based proteins.

“We are excited to partner with Thomas Jonas and the Nature’s Fynd team to help them scale their business and capture the tremendous global opportunities in front of them,” Du added.

The plant-based meat maker initially produced a “Breakfast Bundle”, including sausage-style patties and dairy-alternative cream cheese, which sold out in 24 hours.

It has since scaled its commercial efforts by automating systems at its facility in Chicago’s Union Stockyards.

Its products will be released in selected retailers later in the year.

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