US plant-based meat start-up Nature’s Fynd, backed by Jack Ma, Bill Gates, gets new funding from Al Gore as it targets Chinese market
- The latest US$80 million funding round comes as African swine fever and coronavirus highlight how vegan meat is increasingly viewed as a sustainable alternative to animal protein
- Nature’s Fynd is targeting regulatory approval from China and Hong Kong within the next 18 to 24 months
Plant-based meat maker Nature’s Fynd said it has recently secured US$80 million of funding from investors including former US vice-president Al Gore, as the four-year old food tech start-up begins production in Chicago and prepares to expand into Asia.
The latest equity funding round comes after African swine fever and the more recent coronavirus have highlighted how plant-based, or vegan, meat is increasingly viewed as a climate-friendly, stable source of animal-protein alternative.
In China, which has been hit hard by both epidemics since May last year, extra imports of pork to compensate for the supply shortage caused by African swine fever have dried up over the past two months because of travel bans triggered by the coronavirus. China produced 42.55 million tonnes of pork in 2019, down more than fifth from a year earlier, official data shows.
“In countries such as China you would have to import pork, or soybean as the hog feedstocks. Our technology enables the growth of locally-sourced protein using simple sugar sourced in Asia,” said Nature’s Fynd co-founder and chief executive Thomas Jonas.