Additional investors in the recent capital raise, which brought the company's total funding to $335m, include global investment organization EQT, Griffith Foods, a syndicate from Asia led by Trustbridge Partners, and other existing shareholders.
Founded by Swiss banking firm Blue Horizon Corporation in March 2020, the LIVEKINDLY Collective launched as a global plant-based food company acquiring LIVEKINDLY Media and plant-based brands, The Fry Family Food Co. of South Africa, LikeMeat, and Swedish plant-based meat brand Oumph!. The company also took an equity stake in pea protein suppler PURIS Holdings as part of its strategy to own and operate the entire value chain of production.
The majority of funds from the capital raise will be used to increase capacity and accelerate the 2021 nationwide US launch of portfolio brands -- The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, and Oumph! -- whose products are currently available in select markets across Europe, Africa, and Australia.
“We see significant investor interest increasing around our movement,” said Kees Kruythoff, CEO and Chairman of LIVEKINDLY Collective.
“Through our plant-based food platform we’re committed to ethically and environmentally-friendly practices in everything we do. We are also uniquely positioned to scale rapidly and transform the current global food system.”
Focus on plant-based chicken alternatives
The multi-brand company will also use the cash injection to develop new products, including plant-based chicken and eggs.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA earlier this year, Kruythoff shared the company's ambitions of making plant-based chicken "the most affordable protein in the world" by partnering with incumbent poultry companies such as PHW in Europe and RCL Foods in South Africa.
Plant-based meat currently commands a premium price point – a 8-ounce bag of Raised & Rooted plant-based chicken nuggets costs roughly $5.99 – whereas the average wholesale and retail price for conventional chicken in 2020 stands at roughly $0.74/lb and $1.85/lb, respectively, according to The National Chicken Council.
Kruythoff added that the company projects the plant-based protein industry to account for 10% of the total meat industry by 2040 (roughly a $250bn market).
“Global consumer demand for plant-based meat alternatives is growing rapidly, creating a meaningful opportunity for investors, and our focus on chicken alternatives addresses a massive global need,” said David Knopf, chief financial officer of LIVEKINDLY Collective.
“Our plans to accelerate business growth not only meets the demand of consumers for healthier and more environmentally friendly products, but also creates an attractive investment opportunity behind a purpose-driven business model.”