1955 Capital CEO Andrew Chung’s Investment Picks Debut in Whole Foods and Launch an IPO
1955 Capital CEO Andrew Chung’s past and present investment picks flourish as alternative-protein producer Nature’s Fynd debuts products in Whole Foods Market this month, and LanzaTech plans to go public.
Chung says, “I’m fortunate to have been involved with many cleantech companies that have actually made it and part of the success of companies like LanzaTech and Nature’s Fynd.” Cleantech companies develop technologies, products or services that lessen or reduce negative environmental impact.
Nature’s Fynd is currently one of the portfolio companies at 1955 Capital, a venture firm Chung founded with a $500 million fund to invest in early-stage technologies in energy, food, agriculture, education, and health. Under Chung’s direction, 1955 Capital has invested $50 million in Nature’s Fynd.
“We were then a Series A lead investor in Nature’s Fynd back in 2018, and we remain strong supporters in each round since,” Chung says.
Sustainable Vegan Fare From Fungi
Nature’s Fynd, based in Chicago, makes meat and dairy alternatives, like meatless breakfast patties, with Fy™, a nutritional fungi protein. The patties are now available in select Whole Foods Market stores.
“At Whole Foods Market, we are always looking for innovative and trending products to add to our shelves,” says Parker Brody, senior global category merchant for the company. “With Nature’s Fynd, we have found a delicious breakfast option to add to our growing meat-alternatives category that we believe our customers will love. We are excited to bring Nature’s Fynd Meatless Original Breakfast Patties to our stores and look forward to introducing them to our customers.”
Thomas Jonas, CEO and co-founder of Nature’s Fynd, says, “The innate versatility and natural texture of Fy™ protein enables us to create delicious vegan foods that appeal to our customers. We are delighted to launch our innovative Fy-based Meatless Original Breakfast Patties at Whole Foods Market stores. This furthers our mission of nourishing people and nurturing the planet.”
LanzaTech, Also From Andrew Chung’s Portfolio, Takes Recycling High Tech
Nature’s Fynd isn’t the only breakthrough company backed by Chung that’s taking off.
LanzaTech, a carbon recycling technology firm, was one of Andrew Chung’s key portfolio companies when he was a general partner at venture capital giant Khosla Ventures, which he left in 2015 to create 1955 Capital. In March, LanzaTech announced it would merge with AMCI Acquisition Corp II in an IPO that values the company at $2.2 billion. Upon closing, the combined company is expected to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LNZA.”
“LanzaTech offers an effective and capital efficient carbon capture-and-reuse solution,” Chung says. “That rare combination led multiple industrial partners to help us fund scale-up and commercialization.”
Founded in 2005, LanzaTech captures CO2 emissions to produce goods ranging from fragrances to jet fuel. It combines synthetic biology and engineering to transform waste carbon into materials and high-value products that people use in their daily lives. With a market opportunity of over $1 trillion, the company successfully answered Chung’s fundamental question, “You can capture the carbon, but what do you do with it? You want to be able to reuse it.”
Andrew Chung and 1955 Capital: A ‘Save the World’ Portfolio
Since his early days as an investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that engages in consumer, enterprise, technology, and cleantech markets, Andrew Chung has backed many successful unicorn companies. LanzaTech, where he served on the board for six years, is just one.
At Lightspeed, Chung began carving out what he calls a “save the world” portfolio focused on sustainability startups, an area he has come to master after 20 years in the space. At 1955 Capital, Chung and his interdisciplinary investment team strive to build the next cutting-edge companies in sustainability tech that will impact millions of lives around the globe.
The 1955 Capital team gains insight into consumer behavior while analyzing survival-driven global needs. It supported Nature’s Fynd knowing that more than half of U.S. citizens say they would eat more alternative protein options if they had the same nutritional content as meat. This description of alternative protein fits the properties of Fy™, the nutritional fungi protein from Nature’s Fynd.
Nature’s Fynd makes meat and dairy alternatives based on research conducted for NASA on microbes that have their origins in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park. The firm markets vegan breakfast sausages and cream cheese as delicious, nutritious, and sustainable food products. Additionally, the breakthrough fermentation method used to produce Fy™ aligns with 1955 Capital’s ethical mission to “save the world”: It uses a fraction of the water, land, and energy used in traditional agricultural practices that produce animal protein.
Andrew Chung named 1955 Capital in honor of a pivotal year of revolutionary transition. In 1955, some of the biggest movers in tech were born: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Vinod Khosla (co-founder of Sun Microsystems), and Eric Schmidt (former Google CEO). Through investing in sustainability tech, 1955 Capital strives to solve global challenges during today’s historical period of revolutionary transition and, in doing so, balance economic development with environmental protection.