Jack Ma, Bill Gates, and 1955 Capital’s Andrew Chung Invest in Nature’s Fynd
Food technology company Nature’s Fynd has secured a new round of funding led by 1955 Capital, Andrew Chung’s global venture capital firm. Generation Investment Management, LLP, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures also made substantial contributions to the $80 million in new funding.
Nature’s Fynd Announces Mission and Goals
Nature’s Fynd will use the funds to advance its mission of producing highly nutritious food that also benefits the environment. The new funds will allow the company to scale its efforts by improving technology and growing operations. With the new funds, Nature’s Fynd plans to commercialize its product line-up while continuing to forgo the use of animal products with heavy consideration for the lowest possible impact on the environment.
The food tech producer, originally known as Sustainable Bioproducts, was founded in 2012. The company received its initial Series A funding round in the amount of $33 million that was led by 1955 Capital.
1955 Capital, while the largest investor in the company, isn’t the only big hitter investing in the innovative Nature’s Fynd. Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund established by Bill Gates, also contributed. This is a $1 billion tech fund supported by other notable and recognizable names, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jack Ma of Alibaba, and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank. Additionally, Generation Investment Management, led by Al Gore, contributed to this fundraising.
Since its founding, Nature’s Fynd has worked to redefine what healthy food is. It’s accomplished this by developing a new protein source based on fusarium yellowstonensis, a unique microbe found in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. This protein, known as “Fy”, is created using 99 percent fewer greenhouse gases and 99 percent less land than traditional beef.
Nature’s Fynd is of particular interest to investors not only because of its ability to create environmentally friendly source of protein, but also its ability to do so more affordably than traditional beef and dairy producers. Nature’s Fynd products range from alternatives to meat as well as dairy products. Currently, the company is targeting breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods, along with a line of snack foods that promise not only eco-friendly impact but also tasty flavors.
Andrew Chung and 1955 Capital’s Continued Investment
As noted, 1955 Capital previously invested in Nature’s Fynd. Andrew Chung serves as the firm’s founder and managing partner and in 2018, he was named to the Nature’s Fynd board. The new funding round to Nature’s Fynd is 1955 Capital’s largest portfolio investment to this point. Chung is one of the leaders in the investment community focused on finding new, sustainable technologies for producing food products.
This firm has been blazing this path for years, focusing on a combination of world friendly new technologies and practices that create new opportunities that are fruitful for the future of the planet as well as its investors.
The Importance of Foodtech and ClimateTech Today
Foodtech is a more recognizable term for most than ClimateTech, but both categories are emerging as critical and highly sought-after areas of technology investment today. The goal of Foodtech is to create sustainable solutions for food production or climate protection utilizing breakthrough technologies. These solutions can combat ongoing climate change, and it is important for various industries and government organizations to take significant steps toward adopting these technologies to reduce the impact of humans on the environment as a whole.
ClimateTech includes everything from creating improved agricultural methods to sustainable food production while others have set their sight on different methods to reduce CO 2 from the atmosphere. Cleaner fuel production is an area of increasing growth as well. The scope of ClimateTech is broad, but companies like Nature’s Fynd are developing comprehensive new solutions for producing food in a sustainable manner that people will not only eat but will also enjoy.
How Nature’s Fynd is Changing the Landscape
One of the key ways Nature’s Fynd is contributing positively is by producing nutritiously dense food that doesn’t damage the planet in the process. The company has invented a fermentation process capable of using microbes to grow a unique protein and explore production of a wide range of foods. Fy, for example, contains all nine essential amino acids. By comparison, no other type of non-animal protein includes all nine, making it a standout option for protein-hungry vegans, vegetarians, and those looking to decrease their carbon-footprint without sacrificing their macronutrient intake.
The development of Fy was completed alongside NASA researchers who discovered the microbes in Yellowstone’s volcanic hot springs. These hot springs can see temperatures rise to as high as 456 degrees Fahrenheit which in turn significantly increases the water temperature and acidity. These factors force the microbes to convert light into chemical energy in order to survive.
These microbes are interesting on a number of levels including having a wide range of naturally occurring colors — including vibrant yellow, red, blue, and green. However, perhaps the most astonishing aspect of these microbes is that they are more similar to animals than they are traditional plants. They have a dense protein makeup that includes the rich collection of amino acids which are typically more characteristic of animal products.
Recognizing this, Nature’s Fynd created a unique technology and fermentation process that uses water and these unique microbes to turn simple sugars into a nutritionally-sound protein with all essential amino acids without needing to utilize any animal products.
Another aspect of Nature’s Fynd proficiency is its ability to then take this concept and set up production in such a way to create a small carbon-footprint. Unlike a traditional cattle ranch, the company needs a much smaller amount of land to make its products — and it can do this in rural or urban locations.
Using the Fy method of fermentation, the company is able to take one ton of simple sugar and turn that into two tons of a protein-rich meat alternative that is composed of 75 percent water.
This type of Foodtech is critical in many ways. It can help to reduce environmental damage by reducing the amount of land dedicated to typical protein production. It also emits as little as 1 percent of the greenhouse gas needed in a traditional cattle ranch, another major benefit to the planet. This type of food can be turned into something edible that also looks and tastes like the proteins today’s consumers are used to and want to buy.
Moreover, it allows for an affordable way to produce healthy food for people living without access to it. The continued interest in Foodtech and ClimateTech helped drive the latest funding of Nature’s Fynd. While this is a large financial step forward for the company and the industry as a whole, most investors and sector experts believe this industry will continue to dominate in the investment capital world for some time as companies continue to seek new methods to feed growing populations affordably and sustainably with nutritious food.