Swiss maker of meat alternatives Planted will expand and diversify with $18M Series A – TechCrunch

Planted, A startup pursuing a unique method of making a vegetarian chicken substitute, has raised a $ 18M (CHF 17M) Series A to expand its product offerings and international footprint. With new kebabs and pull-styled fox meats available in the (literally) pipeline such as cuts such as steaks, Planned has begun to make its way outside of Central Europe.

The company was a spinout from ETH Zurich and Made its debut in 2019, But has not rested on the success of his plain chicken recipe. Its approach, which relied on using pea protein and pea fiber to recreate the fibrous structure of chicken for substitution in approximately 1: 1 recipes, has also proved favorable for a variety of styles and ingredients.

“We aim to use different proteins, so that there is diversity in terms of agricultural and dietary aspects,” said co-founder Christophe Jenny.

A woman bites into an artificially pulled pork sandwich.

Image Credit: Planted

“For example our newly launched plant. Flowers, sunflowers, oats and yellow peas are of protein, changing both the structure and taste, similar to pulled pork instead of chicken. The great thing about sunflower protein, they Sunflowers are different from oil production. Therefore, we are establishing a circular economy approach. “

When I first wrote about Planted, its products were only being distributed through a handful of restaurants and grocery stores. The company now has a presence in over 3,000 retail locations in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and also works with restaurant and food service partners. There is no doubt that the growth of this strong organic (so to speak), and the growth of the alternative market of meat in general, led to a minimal increase in wealth.

Cash will be directed, as you can expect for R&D and further expansion for a company at this level.

“Funding will be used to expand our tech stack to reduce our prime cuts, which are currently designed on a lab scale,” Jenny said. “On the manufacturing side we try to increase our existing capacity by half a tonne per hour, first in neighboring countries and then further in Europe and abroad to meet the increasing demand coming from international markets.”

A large laboratory environment with clear walls.  A person works on machinery in the foreground.

Image Credit: Planted

“We will further invest in our structure and fermentation platforms. Will allow the combination of structured technologies with biochemical toolboxes of natural microorganisms UTo eventually create new products with transformative character – all clean, natural, healthy and tasty, ”said the co-founder Lucas Bonnie in a press release.

There is no doubt that all this will help reduce the target from the beginning, but is only possible by scaling.

As other companies in this location also raise money (coincidentally, in large amounts of it) and to expand into other markets, competition will be fierce – but the plant seems to be specializing in certain food types that are not commonly found Go, at least in the US, where sausage, ground “beef,” and “chicken” nuggets are the predominant forms of meat substitutes.

No word on when Planned Products will make it for American tables, but Jenny’s “overseas” suggests it is a possibility, at least soon.

The funding round was co-operated by Vorvec Ventures and Blue Horizon Ventures, with participation from Swiss football (soccer) player Yan Sommer and several previous investors.