CHILE — Latin America’s fastest-growing food company NotCo has raised US$235 million to bolster its expansion into new categories in North America. 

The funds were raised in a Series D funding round led by Tiger Global and participated in by DFJ Growth Fund, ZOMA Lab, athletes Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer, and musician Questlove. 

According to a report by FoodBev, the Plant-based food technology company has raised more than US$350 million to date with the recent funding round taking NotCo’s valuation to US$1.5 billion. 

Launched five years ago, NotCo uses a proprietary artificial intelligence platform to create new plant-based dairy, egg, and meat alternatives.  

It offers a range of products throughout Latin America, including NotMilk, NotBurger, NotMeat, NotIceCream, and NotMayo. 

It introduced NotMilk in the United States seven months ago and is reportedly on track to reach 8,000 retail doors by the end of the year.  

The dairy-free milk alternative, sold nationally in Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Wegmans, and more, features nontraditional ingredients like cabbage and pineapple juice, plus pea protein, chicory root fiber, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. 

Expanding in North America could not be more timely as the market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% to reach US$8.2 billion by 2024, according to recent data from Mordor Intelligence. 

The market research firm notes that increased disposable income, changes in lifestyles and eating patterns, increased prevalence of allergies associated with dairy products, and growing environmental concerns are some of the main factors driving this growth. 

NotCo also plans to use part of funds to scale its AI technology and accelerate plans to launch in Europe and Asia where there is evident potential for products made from alternative proteins. 

The round comes just one month after a substantial investment from Enlightened Hospitality Investments and nine months after a US$85 million Series C round co-led by Future Positive and L Catterton. 

 It included follow-ons from existing investors Bezos Expeditions, EHI, Future Positive, L Catterton, and Kaszek Ventures. 

Earlier, Swedish-based food start-up Veg of Lund unveiled a new dairy alternative made from the humble potato in an effort to minimize the climate impact of the dairy products.  

Called DUG, the new product has been touted as the world’s first potato-based dairy alternative and is said to be kind to the environment, delicious in taste, and goes perfectly with hot drinks. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE