Founders Fund, the firm founded by Peter Thiel and other PayPal executives, famously declared that it wants to back companies with big, ambitious visions (not just dinky web startups). And that description certainly fits Hampton Creek Foods, a startup that wants to move the world from animal-based foods by creating alternatives that are genuinely tastier, healthier, and cheaper.
Founder and CEO Josh Tetrick told me that he just closed a $1 million round from the firm. It’s Founders Fund’s first food tech investment, he said — which seems to be true, judging from the portfolio companies listed on the firm’s website. Hampton Creek previously raised $2 million from Khosla Ventures.
The startup recently launched its first product, Beyond Eggs, a plant-based egg replacer for baked goods and other food products. I actually took a tour of the Hampton Creek, where I saw the labs for testing different plant-based proteins, the kitchen where the company’s cooks stress test the products, and yes, tasted some mayonnaise and cookies created with Beyond Eggs (you can see a video of the tour below). The broader vision is to launch other plant-based alternatives.
By the way, we took a broader look a few weeks ago at the startups trying to reinvent food, including Beyond Meat and Modern Meadow. (Thiel actually funded Modern Meadow through Breakout Labs, an arm of the Thiel Foundation.)