Plant-based food tech startup NotCo has raised $235 million in a Series D funding round, bringing the business' valuation to $1.5 billion.
The Series D investment round was led by American firm Tiger Global, and joined by ZOMA Lab and DFJ Growth Fund.
Vegan Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton was among investors who helped a plant-based milk startup NotCo reach unicorn status (businesses valued at over $1 billion).
Other famous investors include tennis player Roger Federer, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and musician DJ Questlove.
The Chilean company develops formulas for dairy-free milk, plant-based meat, vegan mayonnaise and ice-cream using AI and unusual ingredients such as chicory root, pineapple juice and cabbage.
NotCo created and patented an AI platform Giuseppe that uses machine learning to find the best possible plant-based ingredients. Giuseppe’s algorithms analyse thousands of plants in its database to find perfect ingredients that can replicate the taste, texture, smell and functional properties of animal proteins.
“Our patented AI 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 CEO, Matias Muchnick,
He told Reuters: “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.”
The company says that the funds will help expand and improve Giuseppe and launch new products globally.
Until now several plant-based food tech companies secured the unicorn status, including plant-based meat makers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods and vegan egg alternative company EAT JUST.