US – LiveKindly Collective, a multi-brand plant-based platform, has raised US$335 million in its latest funding round led by The Rise Fund, which is the global impact investing platform managed by TPG.
Food Dive reported that the funding round which was closed in late March included new funds from existing investors such as Rabo Corporate Investments and S2G Ventures.
Money from this round, according to a company, will be used to accelerate LiveKindly Collective’s brands into new geographic locations — including the U.S. and China.
It will also be used to bankroll future acquisitions and partnerships, as well as invest in plant-based innovation.
As a result of the new funding, Steve Ellis, co-managing partner of The Rise Fund, is expected to join LiveKindly Collective’s board of directors.
LiveKindly- a platfom that advocates for plant-based diet
Founded in 2020 by a group of high-level investors and veterans of the food industry, LiveKindly is a platform that funds and advocates for plant-based eating worldwide.
Within its one year of existence, the company has raised US$535 million, becoming one of the highest funded and fastest-growing plant-based platforms anywhere.
The platform has acquired a number of plant-based companies including South Africa’s Fry Family Food Co., Germany-based LikeMeat, Sweden-based Oumph and Iceland’s No Meat.
It has also partnered with Puris Holdings for research on growing protein-rich crops worldwide and reducing waste in the manufacturing process.
The new funding for the company is timely as Plant-based eating has been on the rise worldwide as consumers become more interested both in sustainability and health.
At a virtual event earlier this month, LiveKindly CEO Kees Kruythoff predicted plant-based food could bring in US$400 billion to US$500 billion in global sales by 2040 — a figure much higher than the 2019 UBS estimate that the market would reach US$85 billion by 2030.
kruythoff’s predictions are supported by statistics from the recently released Power of Meat report, which shows that the percentage of consumers who identified as “meat eaters” declined from 85% in 2019 to 71% in 2021.
Flexitarianism, on the other hand, grew from 10% of consumers saying they practiced eating this way in 2019 to 19% in 2020.
Sales figures from 2020 are still being tallied, but the plant-based segment — especially meat alternatives — saw sharp growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extending plant-based eating to the world
As more U.S. consumers are becoming interested in plant-based foods, the timing is good to introduce new brands here.
LiveKindly seems to be gearing up to do just that, and with its ongoing research partnerships and R&D projects, it is also getting prepared to continue the segment’s growth in the future.
For instance, product from its German-based company Like Meat and and its South African counterpart Fry Family, first arrived in Sprouts Farmers Markets stores in the U.S. this month.
Moreover, as LiveKindly Collective’s global platform was being announced last year, CEO Kees Kruythoff said in an interview its goal was to extend plant-based eating to the world.
The company has been working to deliver on that mission with product expansions into other regions outside home countries.
LiveKindly Collective has, for instance, entered a joint venture with South African manufacturer RCL Foods for marketing and distribution in sub-Saharan Africa. It has plans to extend its product lines in new countries in Europe.
The platform also has a partnership with Switzerland’s Ospelt Group to create plant-based convenience meals, and is working with Germany’s Rival Foods, which produces whole cuts of plant-based meat, to develop plant-based chicken products.
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