The Livekindly Collective, a collection of heritage brands and startups, announced a successful capital raise of $335 million. This brings the total funds raised in its first year to a staggering $535 million, making it one of the top three highest-funded and fastest-growing plant-based food companies. The funding will help accelerate Livekindly’s expansion into global markets and fuel its acquisitions, key partnerships and investments in plant-based innovation. On 26 May, Kees Kruythoff, CEO of Livekindly Collective, shares his thoughts on where we are heading with plant-based food at F&A Next.
It is indeed impressive, to say the least, that the company has raised such a significant amount of capital in just one year. According to Roger Lienhard, founder of Livekindly Collective, this testifies the urgency of their mission and the enormous investment opportunity it represents. “We are building a global pureplay in plant-based alternatives – which we believe is the future of food. And we believe the momentum behind plant-based living will continue to grow in both the private and public markets,” says Roger.
Investing in Sustainable Development Goals
For those who don’t know Roger Lienhard, he is also founder and executive chairman of the Blue Horizon Group; a food technology-focused venture capital fund founded in 2018 to support the movement towards a more sustainable food system through innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. It’s safe to say that Roger knows his way around in the world of venture capital and knows how to successfully raise funds. But still, it is an amazing achievement to raise over half a billion dollars in just one year. With thanks to the Rise fund, that lead this funding round.
The Rise Fund is a global impact investing platform managed by TPG. This round was joined by existing investor Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment arm of Rabobank, S2G Ventures, and other existing and additional mission-aligned investors. The Rise Fund works with growth-stage, high-potential, mission-driven companies seeking to generate meaningful returns while advancing progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This investment in The Livekindly Collective is The Rise Fund’s second major investment in the global plant-based ecosystem.
Making plant-based living the new norm
The Livekindly Collection is a combination of five brands: a media company (Livekindly), and four plant-based meat brands: Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat and No Meat. The Collective was founded on the belief that plant-based alternatives have the power to make the global food system sustainable. Kees Kruythoff, a former global top-executive of Unilever who became CEO of the Livekindly Collective last year, explains that they are on a mission to making plant-based living the new norm.
Kees acknowledges that the vegan market is still very small. In 2020 the meat market was worth $1.300 billion versus $14,4 billion for alternative meat. Livekindly wants to change that, and they already see the shift ahead. In an interview with Change.inc (in Dutch) Kees says: “Millennials (1980-1995) and Generation Z (1996-2010) wonder why we still eat meat. This awareness is gradually gaining momentum. I have been working in the food industry for 27 years and have never seen such a trend in my life that is so simultaneous and large scale.”
Chasing proteins: will plants eventually replace the animals?
Will plants eventually replace the animals? On 26 May, Kees joins F&A Next as panelist in a discussion about the future of meat versus plant-based food. Get a front row seat and book your ticket to F&A Next 2021 now.