ImpactAlpha, December 15 – Chilean food company NotCo launched in 2015 with an animal-free mayonnaise designed by artificial intelligence software and has since brought to market alternative milk, ice cream, meat and other products.
NotCo’s has raised $70 million, led by sustainability-focused VC firm Princeville Capital, in an extension of its Series D round that it launched last year. Tiger Global Management, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions and others had previously invested in the round.
NotCo, valued at $1.5 billion, is reportedly looking to go public in 2025.
Boom then bust
Venture capital shoveled money into plant-based food companies in 2019 and 2020, as media and markets hyped their sustainability potential and shifting consumer diets. Beyond Meat raised more than $240 million in its 2019 IPO. The market, and company valuations, have since cooled, as rising food prices have steered consumers away from premium products.
NotCo’s AI platform, which it named Giuseppe, analyzes the molecular structures of animal-derived foods and then develops alternatives by matching flavors and textures with plant-based ingredients. The company is partnering with Kraft Heinz, Starbucks, Shake Shack and others to develop new products. The move toward B2B sets NotCo apart as other plant-based food companies struggle to differentiate themselves with consumers.