Questlove and Lewis Hamilton Invest in $1.5 Billion Vegan Tech Company
Legendary musician Questlove, tennis champion Roger Federer, and Formula 1 Racer Lewis Hamilton just joined the vegan food tech company NotCo’s rapidly growing roster of investors. The public figures joined NotCo’s Series D funding round led by Tiger Global where the company secured $235 million dollars. Following the funding round, the company’s valuation reached $1.5 billion, propelling the innovative plant-based brand into the vegan market spotlight.
Before the Series D funding round, NotCo managed to secure investment from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The company launched last year with the central mission to enter three plant-based market categories: dairy, meat, and eggs. The food tech start-up is set apart from its competitors because the company uses specialized A.I. technology named Gueseppe to replicate animal products, perfecting the taste, texture, and cooking ability of the plant-based alternatives.
“Our patented A.I. gives us a significant competitive advantage due to the speed and accuracy with which we’re able to develop and bring new products to market,” said NotCo Founder and CEO, Matias Muchnick. “The level of enthusiasm we’ve received from our partners is thrilling and humbling. We all share the same vision for Giuseppe’s ability to catapult plant-based foods into mainstream adoption at a rapid pace by focusing on taste, sustainability, and infiltrating multiple categories at once. We are grateful to have the support of Tiger Global as we build a food tech brand with the global reach and capability to reinvent the food industry.”
The innovative methods and unconventional ingredients such as chicory root and cabbage caught the attention of Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions. Now, the company’s products are available on Amazon and at in-person retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Wegmans. The company is rapidly expanding across the North American market and plans to push its retail presence to Asia and Europe following the widely successful Series D funding round.
NotCo also recently began distribution around Latin America, experiencing widespread success across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Brazil. The company aims to begin distributing its products to Mexico and other countries across South America. Currently, NotCo sells its NotMilk, NotMeat, NotIceCream, NotBurger, and NotMayo at 6,000 retailers worldwide.
"NotCo has created world-class plant-based food products that are rapidly gaining market share," Partner, Tiger Global Scott Shleifer said. "We are excited to partner with Matias and his team. We expect continued product innovation and expansion into new geographies and food categories will fuel high and sustainable growth for years to come."
The company expects to continue its rapid expansion. NotCo first launched its NotMilk seven months ago, and now distributes this milk alternative to nearly 8,000 retail locations. The company attributes its success to its proprietary A.I. technology. Giuseppe’s algorithms quickly analyze thousands of ingredients to create recipes that best replicate the taste, texture, and other qualities of conventional animal products.
The innovative A.I. is also encouraging other companies to work with NotCo to develop plant-based products. Currently, the company has partnered with Papa John’s and Burger King with Muchnick believing that NotCo’s Guiseppe will become the center of plant-based development.
“Many companies have reached NotCo to say ‘can you do a plant-based version of our products.’ In that way, we can become the ‘Intel Inside’ of other products,” Muchnick told Reuters.