1955 Capital recently invested as part of a $80 million Series B round for Nature’s Fynd, previously known as Sustainable Bioproducts, to launch its products and scale its operations.
Nature’s Fynd recently started production in their new plant, located near the site of the Union Stockyards in Chicago, a historic and fitting choice. Chicago’s stockyards once led the way in feeding the country and Nature’s Fynd is working to develop clean, environmentally friendly new processes to revolutionize the food industry.
The current round of investors includes General Investment Management, a firm chaired by Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which includes Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos among others as its investors.
Andrew Chung’s 1955 Capital was the lead investor in the Series A round and remains as the largest shareholder. Nature’s Fynd is 1955 Capital’s largest portfolio investment.
Nature’s Fynd — Background and Looking Ahead
This investment is timely during the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, given the renewed importance of sustainable food supply. Of course, the company and its mission predate the current coronavirus epidemic, but its process to produce food without the use of animals is of interest.
Nature’s Fynd began as Sustainable Bioproducts in 2012 and is dedicated to developing alternative meat and dairy foods.
They’ve developed a completely new protein source, developed from a microbe known as “fusarium yellowstonensis”. The microbe comes from the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, thus the name. The microbe is also known as Fy, which is part of Sustainable Bioproducts’ new name for their enterprise, Nature’s Fynd.
Producing food from Fy generates 99% fewer greenhouse gases than beef from cattle. It also requires far less land and water and results in a more economic and environmentally friendly production process. That’s not the most compelling part of their technology platform, however.
Nature’s Fynd has developed a wide array of nutritious and tasty foods, which include options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and protein drinks. They may also market this product as an ingredient source for other food companies.
The manufacturing process is clean and elegant, using a low-cost fermentation process that Nature’s Fynd has developed. This process has allowed the company to develop food that’s rich in protein with less land, less economic investment, and in a manner that does not deplete the earth or its resources.
This makes it an exceptionally enticing company for investors. It would take 15,000 acres of land to produce as much meat as the Nature Fynd’s plant can produce in hamburger equivalent. The protein source itself is also excellent, providing the nutritional value that a healthy body needs.
As Thomas Jonas, the CEO of Nature’s Fynd explains, “We must find new solutions that can both nourish people and nurture the planet. Our innovative technology was developed by studying nature’s own solutions for adapting — and ultimately thriving — in environments with limited resources.”
Andrew Chung and 1955 Capital
Andrew Chung is the founder and managing partner of 1955 Capital. He serves on the board of Nature’s Fynd and has invested significant energy and capital in the startup. Chung founded 1955 Capital with the mission of building a venture capital firm that would invest in and support innovative moonshot technologies. Not just any innovations, but ones that can solve humanitarian and environmental issues to improve the world and the lives of those who inhabit it.
1955 Capital is the largest shareholder in Nature’s Fynd and believes strongly that the promising startup’s technology and products have the potential to revolutionize the food industry while cutting down on society’s carbon footprint in food production.
“They have developed tasty products across multiple food groups faster than any other food tech company that 1955 Capital has seen. Their elegant manufacturing process supports a scalable and cost-effective production method that will be critical for achieving competitive pricing, particularly in developing world markets where this technology is most needed.
With the global impact of livestock-related illnesses like coronavirus and swine flu that have disrupted the world economy, it’s more critical than ever to build a clean and sustainable food supply,” said Chung.