Planted closes CHF 70 million Series B financing round

Swiss foodtech start-up Planted, known for its natural biostructured meat made from alternative proteins, has closed its Series B financing round of 70 million Swiss francs. The round was led by L Catterton, the largest global private equity firm in the consumer goods sector. Planted will use the funding to launch a new line of products for so-called Whole Cuts, such as a plant-based chicken breast, as well as further international expansion and increased production capacity.

Founded in July 2019, the ETH Zurich spin-off Planted uses its novel biostructuring approach to produce meat from alternative proteins such as peas, oats and sunflower, focusing on the perfect bite with exclusively natural ingredients. Biostructuring combines protein structuring and fermentation. Planted produces all products in the Kemptthal production facility, which is located in a glass house - the first transparent production of meat open to the public. In May 2022, the company announced that the production capacity doubled to over one ton of plant meat per hour. In the near future, Planted plans to open another production facility.

Planted is available in restaurants and retail outlets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy and, more recently, the UK, as well as via the company's own pan-European web store. The company plans to enter several new European markets in 2023.

The Series B lead investor L Catterton is supported by existing investors such as Vorwerk Ventures, Gullspång Re:food, Movendo, Be8 Ventures, ACE, ETH Zurich Foundation, Joyance, Yann Sommer and new investor Tengelmann Ventures.

For Christoph Jenny, co-founder of Planted, the quick follow-on round to the 36 million Swiss francs they raised in 2021 reflects the company's appeal in the market and with investors. "We are proud to be the fastest growing alternative protein company in Europe, with a strong track record in our established yet young markets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France and good early development in new markets such as the UK and Italy," said Christoph Jenny. "With the additional capital, we will further accelerate our international growth, expand our product range with a newline of Whole Cut products and build another production facility."

Investors see rapid growth
"We are honored to partner with Planted to revolutionize the way meat and protein-rich foods are consumed around the world," says Michael Farello, managing partner of L Catterton Growth Fund. "Their products are not only inspired by nature, but also free of artificial ingredients. Moreover, they are scalable and can be easily integrated into consumers' daily lives. As food is a powerful lever to promote human health and ecological stability, Planted directly contributes to a healthier and more sustainable food system. We firmly believe the company will continue to grow as more and more people around the world turn to alternative proteins in their daily lives."

Introduction of Whole Cuts
Backed by its biostructuring process, which combines protein structuring and biotechnology, Planted is launching its whole meat product range. This proprietary technology enables Planted to develop larger cuts of meat with complex structure, texture, juiciness and tenderness. Planted believes that in the future, biostructured proteins will outperform animal meat in terms of taste, sustainability, health, efficiency and price.

"We are currently in the final stages of launching several Whole Cut products such as our Chicken Tenders, Patties and Chicken Breast. These are the first larger cuts of meat on the market without additives. These products will be available to the foodservice industry first, with retail to follow shortly thereafter. For example, our chicken breast will be launched in collaboration with celebrity chef Tim Raue and will be on the menu at his restaurant in Berlin from September 15, 2022. This will be followed by further launches in the food service sector," says Jenny.

In addition, the more than 65 employees working in research, technology and product development at Planted have developed further promising prototypes. "We now need to test, optimize and scale these with consumers. The strong support from investors gives us the opportunity to accelerate the testing phases and put significant resources into scaling to successfully bring the new products to market through our various distribution channels in the coming months," Jenny added.

(Press release/RAN)