It looks like investors think there’s a big opportunity in Hampton Creek Foods‘ mission of creating tasty, affordable alternatives to animal-based foods — the company is announcing that it has raised $23 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing’s investment firm Horizons Ventures, with participation from Jerry Yang and AME Cloud Ventures, Ali and Hadi Partovi, Jessica Powell of Google, Scott Banister, and Ash Patel. Previous backers Khosla Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Kat Taylor and Tom Steyers’ Eagle Cliff also invested in the new round.
“Technology enables everyone to have more options to better our future together,” Li said in the funding release. “To keep up with all the demands for the growing global population, we need to be more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and have more quality and affordable choices.”
As the quote implies, eggs are one of the key foods that Hampton Creek is trying to replace. I actually visited the company’s office about a year ago where I got to see the labs where different plant-based alternatives are developed and the kitchen where those alternatives are tested — and as you can see in the taste test at the end of the video below, I had a hard time telling the difference between cookies using traditional ingredients and the ones using Hampton Creek’s egg replacer.
Morgan Oliveira, the startup’s communications director, declined to share any sales numbers, but she did say that Hampton Creek is in the process of rolling out its products with six Fortune 500 companies. (The Hampton Creek website currently touts the fact that Just Mayo is available at Whole Foods.) Other goals include launching its Eat the Dough product next month and its Just Scramble product this fall.
We’ve written about Hampton Creek as part the growing interest in the startup and VC world in reinventing food — other companies doing something related include Beyond Meat. When I asked Oliveira about why this is happening now, she said:
I think people are starting to realize the way most food is produced doesn’t align with our values. They’re realizing that a lot of food is produced in a way that is bad for the environment, people, and animals. And that it’s just not a sustainable model. At Hampton Creek we also think that it’s incredibly unfortunate that the healthy choice is always the more expensive and inconvenient choice and we have made it our mission as a company to change that.
The company has raised $30 million total.
This post has been updated with a new quote from Li Ka-shing.