The funding round was led by global impact investing platform, The Rise Fund (which manages more than $5bn in assets across its platform), while other investors in the round include existing investor Rabo Corporate Investments (the investment arm of Rabobank), S2G Ventures, and other existing and additional mission-aligned investors.
Headquartered in San Francisco, The Rise Fund was founded in 2016 to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by investing in a number of growth-stage, high potential, mission-driven companies across the sectors of education, energy, food and agriculture, healthcare and technology, and financial technology.
“We are excited to work with LIVEKINDLY Collective and its ecosystem of innovative companies and world-class leaders to meet the growing global demand for healthy, plant-based, clean-label options,” co-managing partner of The Rise Fund, Steve Ellis, who has also recently joined the LIVEKINDLY Collective Board of Directors.
“The company’s unique, mission-driven model operates across the entire value chain, from seed to fork, to drive worldwide adoption of plant-based alternatives and create a healthier planet for all.”
Half a billion dollars raised
The latest investment closes a growth funding round of $335m, including $135 million converted from a prior round, bringing the total funds raised by LIVEKINDLY Collective in its first year to $535m, making it one of the top three highest-funded and fastest-growing plant-based food companies globally, according to LIVEKINDLY.
Launched in early 2020, the LIVEKINDLY Collective is a global multi-brand, plant-based food company that has acquired several emerging brands to add to its portfolio including The Fry Family Food Co. of South Africa, LikeMeat, No Meat, 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 plant-based food production.
The company has grown to 470 employees around the world and appointed six managing directors including author and environmental leader Suzy Amis Cameron, Whole Foods Market co-founder Walter Robb, former global Unilever CEO Paul Polman, former chairman of the board at Whole Foods Market Gaby Sulzberger, longtime investor focused on China Shujun Li, and experienced director focusing on sustainability Barbara Kux.
'We are ideally positioned to rapidly scale our model'
In the US, LIVEKINDLY's portfolio of brands makes up just a small fraction of plant-based food market, but with its latest round of funding the company now has the fuel it needs to accelerate its retail growth, said David Knopf, CFO of LIVEKINDLY Collective.
Earlier this month, LIVEKINDLY announced the nationwide launch and US retail debut of LikeMeat and The Fry Family Food Co. at Sprouts stores.
“Our mission is to make plant-based living the new norm, creating a healthier, more sustainable global food system through our international portfolio that meets local tastes,” said Knopf.
“With the close of this funding round, we are ideally positioned to rapidly scale our model and lead the global consumer shift toward healthy, delicious and sustainable plant-based alternatives.”