Products like meat, eggs and cheese are staples in most people’s diets, and are what keep the multi-billion-dollar animal agriculture industry afloat. But the sector is a notoriously dirty one. In fact, a recently published U.N.-backed study found that more than one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the way we package and process food.
While these emissions aren’t due solely to animal agriculture, plant-based food production is an increasingly popular idea to reduce the environmental impact of the food we eat.
One rising star in this space is LIVEKINDLY Collective, a company that aims to make plant-based living the “new norm.” Now, with $335 million of fresh growth funding in its coffers, it is one step closer to doing just that.
Launched just one year ago by Blue Horizon Group and various industry veterans, LIVEKINDLY Collective is a collection of various plant-based heritage brands and startups. It also has a media and lifestyle arm that provides various information about the plant-based movement, including news stories and recipes. All told, LIVEKINDLY has nearly 500 employees globally and sells in more than 40 countries.
“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,” CFO David Knopf said in a statement. “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.”
This latest funding, which includes $135 million converted from a prior round, was led by the Rise Fund, a global impact investing platform managed by TPG. In just one year, LIVEKINDLY Collective has managed to raise more than half a billion dollars, reportedly making it one of the highest-funded and fastest-growing plant-based food companies globally.
Founder Roger Lienhard describes LIVEKINDLY Collective’s model as the “future of food,” and says its ability to raise so much in so little time is a testament to “the urgency” of its mission and its “enormous investment opportunity.”
“We believe the momentum behind plant-based living will continue to grow in both the private and public markets,” he continued in his statement.
Indeed, the alt-meat space appears to have hit its stride in 2020, attracting outsized interest from both VC firms and consumers. Foodtech giant Impossible Foods, for example, raised a whopping $700 million between its Series F and G rounds last year, and now sells its plant-based meat and dairy products to nearly 20,000 grocery stories across the United States. Newer companies like NYC-based NUGGS and Bay Area-based Climax Foods have also cropped up, aiming to disrupt the food system forever with their plant-based meat alternatives.
Now, LIVEKINDLY Collective wants to do the same, and plans to use this fresh funding to expand its geographic footprint across the United States and China, form new partnerships, and grow its portfolio of plant-based brands. The company is also hiring, and all roles are remote-friendly.
“This is a fantastic moment not only for LIVEKINDLY Collective but the future of plant-based industry as a whole. What our team has accomplished within such a short period of time is not a small feat and we will continue to accelerate the growth of LIVEKINDLY Collective,” Lienhard said in a recent company blog post.