Invest in a good food future
Investments in alternative proteins are at an all-time high.
Investments in alternative proteins are at an all-time high.
- The alternative protein industry raised $3.1 billion in investments in 2020—three times more than in any single year in the industry’s history.
- Alternative protein companies have raised almost $6 billion in investments in the past decade (2010–2020), more than half of which was raised in 2020 alone.
- Amid the social, environmental, and economic crises of 2020, these numbers signal a growing appetite for climate-friendly investments with returns beyond the bottom line.
While 2020 was a record-breaking year for alternative proteins, significantly more investment is needed from both the public and the private sector to mitigate the environmental and public health impacts of food production and sustainably feed a growing global population. With consumer demand for alternative proteins rising, the time has never been better to invest in the future of food.
You can tap into GFI’s network and resources to discover the next groundbreaking alternative protein startup. Register with our investor directory to be contacted by fundraising startups, use the company database to discover new startups on the scene and see who is currently fundraising, and dive into our numerous other resources to understand the market and technical landscape.
Connect with alternative protein companies
Explore our resources, tools and community-building opportunities for investors to learn how you can identify and approach alternative protein startups and build a network of co-investors.
Joining our investor directory allows investors to express their interest in investing in alternative protein startups by sharing key information about their mandates and areas of interest directly with startups. GFI shares the directory with interested startups who may then reach out to prospective investors who they believe are a good fit for their fundraise.
Who has access to the investor directory?
Due to the sensitive nature of investor contact information and the conditions on which sharing consent was given, GFI limits directory access to alternative protein companies who are currently fundraising or have successfully closed a funding round. Because of this, we cannot share investor contact information with other investors or groups that represent companies (e.g., investment banks, accelerators, incubators).
Alternative protein companies can request access to the investor directory by filling out this form, which you are welcome to share with your portfolio companies. All entries will be reviewed by GFI and access will be granted to qualifying alternative protein companies.
How do companies contact investors through this list?
Investors who consent to share their contact information can indicate their preferred channel for companies to make contact, whether that be email, a contact form on their website, or LinkedIn.
The use of information from the directory for marketing purposes or mass emailing is not permitted. If you believe someone is violating this rule, please email email@example.com and GFI will take appropriate action.
What is GFI’s policy on making introductions between companies and investors?
In order to ensure that GFI is providing equitable support to all alternative protein companies and investors, we do not make direct introductions between companies and individual investors. Instead, we provide fundraising companies with access to the investor directory and encourage them to reach out to investors directly or seek an introduction from outside GFI.
How can I edit my information or remove myself from this list?
Investors can edit their information or remove themselves from the investor directory by emailing Sharyn.
Company and fundraising database
GFI’s company database lists alternative protein companies along with their attributes, such as product and technology focus, operating regions, date founded, and founders. The fundraising database lists alternative protein companies currently engaged in a fundraising round (as self-reported by companies) and round characteristics, including asset type, round type, target deal size, and target investor type.
The GlassWall Syndicate
The Glasswall Syndicate is a group of venture capitalists, family offices, and individual investors who share a similar investment thesis and want to accelerate mainstream adoption of products and services that remove animals from supply chains. They share resources, including research, contacts, deal flow, analysis, due diligence, and expertise. If you are interested in learning more about joining the Glasswall Syndicate, please fill out this form on their website.
Vevolution is a fintech startup based in the U.K. specializing in the plant-based and cell-tech space. Vevolution’s membership-based deal flow tool allows investors to access hundreds of plant-based and cell-based deals, co-invest alongside leading funds from across the world, chat with startup founders, and more. Interested investors may create a free account to access a live deal flow preview.
Funding by Beyond Animal
Beyond Animal is a Swiss company accelerating the growth of the vegan economy. Its digital platform, Funding by Beyond Animal, matches investors with animal-free businesses and facilitates the funding process. Investor members can use the platform to invest in companies providing sustainable, animal-free products and services. The Funding by Beyond Animal deal room offers a searchable pipeline of deals, full investor information packs, and a transaction process.
Accessing the opportunity as a non-accredited investor
We are often asked by non-accredited investors how they can invest in alternative proteins. While options are unfortunately limited as in the United States individuals who do not meet the accredited investor criteria under SEC Regulation D are generally unable to participate in private company fundraising rounds, there are some options available. Investors may:
- Participate in equity or product crowd-funding. The passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act allowed non-accredited individuals to take part in crowdfunding up to individual limits based on net worth and income. Select private alternative protein companies have raised early-stage capital through crowdfunding platforms.
- Invest in startups through public holding companies. There are several publicly listed holding companies that provide look-through access to private alternative protein startups, including Agronomics Limited, Eat Beyond, and Eat Well Investment Group Inc.
- Invest in publicly traded companies. While still limited in number, there are some publicly traded alternative protein companies, and ETFs investing in alternative protein companies, listed on major stock exchanges, such as Beyond Meat (NAS: BYND), Oatly (NAS: OTLY), The Vegan World Index®, and the VegTech Environmental Impact and Plant-based Innovation ETF. In addition, select alternative protein companies are listed on regional exchanges, including SavorEat (TAE: SVRT), Else Nutrition Holdings (TSX: BABY), and The Very Good Butchers (CNQ: VERY).
- Incorporate considerations of alternative proteins in broad public equity portfolios. Within their public equity portfolios, investors can overweight food and meat companies that are more engaged in alternative proteins and underweight those less engaged. The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index and Sustainable Proteins Hub may be helpful tools in such assessments. Investors may also utilize proxy voting and/or activist investment strategies to encourage a focus on alternative proteins, sustainability in companies’ supply chains, and sustainability-related targets and disclosures.
Disclaimer: The Good Food Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is not a registered investment, legal or tax advisor or broker/dealer. All opinions expressed and content provided are for informational purposes only. Please seek advice from a licensed professional and independently verify any information provided.
Understand the market
Gain a deeper understanding of the alternative protein market with GFI’s open-access reports and resources.
State of the Industry Reports
GFI’s State of the Industry Reports are the most comprehensive landscape analyses of alternative proteins to date. Each year, we analyze plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy, cultivated meat, fermentation-derived alternative proteins, and alternative seafood.
These reports outline the exciting developments happening across the alternative protein landscape. Topics covered include the commercial and company landscape, key regulatory updates, scientific innovations, product launches, and sales data. The reports also provide an in-depth analysis of the investment landscape using custom datasets curated by the Good Food Institute.
Plant-based retail market overview
In recent years, plant-based sales growth has significantly outpaced overall food sales growth. GFI’s analysis of SPINS retail sales data covers the size and growth of the plant-based market by category and provides side-by-side comparisons with animal product sales.
The global market
Our international market reports and resources showcase the landscape for global investment opportunities in alternative proteins:
- Brazil Plant-Based Meat Industry Report
- Plant-based consumer research – Brazil
- Asian Cropportunities: Supplying raw materials for plant-based meat
- Israel State of Innovation Report
- Sustainable protein innovation priorities for Europe
- Plant-based consumer research – Europe
Watch our on-demand international plant-based market webinar series:
Subscribe to The Alternative Protein Opportunity monthly newsletter to be notified of future webinars.
Engage with GFI
Our no-cost engagements with investors provide education on the alternative protein industry, including global and regional market data, consumer insights, sales and investment trends, technological updates, regulatory information and more. As examples, these services can take the form of GFI:
- Consulting on how to best shape a strategic approach to the alternative protein industry.
- Presenting on the financial and impact opportunities in alternative proteins to institutional investors considering investing in the industry for the first time or deepening their investment.
- Helping craft an agenda and source speakers for an alternative protein “investor day” or client webinar.
- Presenting to a bank’s wealth management division to educate advisors and/or their clients on the investment opportunities within the alternative protein industry.
- Consulting with sell-side analysts on how best to incorporate alternative protein in their research coverage.
Please note that we cannot review materials from individual companies as part of this service. Rather, we provide context for the industry as a whole that can complement your own due diligence efforts.
To schedule one of these sessions, please fill out this form.
White space opportunities
The alternative protein industry is young and rapidly growing. GFI’s research will help you understand the market white spaces so you can recognize and capitalize on opportunities.
- Innovation priorities: Explore the most high-impact areas where innovation is needed to create alternative proteins that are as affordable and delicious as conventional animal products. This list of innovation priorities is synthesized from surveys with over 180 alternative protein stakeholders, from researchers to entrepreneurs.
- Solutions Database: Use the database to discover ideas for new commercial ventures and products, and discover the most high-impact opportunities to fund. GFI’s solutions database is routinely updated with solutions with the potential to accelerate the growth of the alternative protein industry.
- An Ocean of Opportunity action paper: This report highlights why alternative seafood presents both an incredible business opportunity and a much-needed solution to the environmental and food security risks posed by conventional seafood production.
Understand the technical landscape
The following resources will help you understand the technical aspects of alternative protein production so you can better evaluate the risks and opportunities associated with investing in alt protein companies.
- Free online course on the science of alternative proteins: This self-paced course covers the biological and chemical processes used to produce plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-derived proteins, the environmental and economic drivers behind these market sectors, and the dietary roles of proteins.
- GFI has published a number of technical papers and open-access resources on topics including formulating with animal-free ingredients, a life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic assessment (TEA) for cultivated meat, plant-based manufacturing, and more.
- Learn more about the science of making meat with plants, animal cell cultures, and microbes.
Technical due diligence
Technical due diligence is important for investment into any food manufacturing business. The following resources will support you in conducting your own due diligence.
- Sample technical questions for cultivated meat due diligence: Use these questions to pressure-test the technical strategy of cultivated meat companies. This list is meant to provide a starting point for technical due diligence. It can and should be modified to fit a given company.
- Industry consultants: Identify consultants specializing in one or more segments within the alternative protein industry including plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated meats. We believe they are well-positioned to offer valuable insight for evaluating potential companies to invest in.
Our Science & Technology team offers no-cost educational sessions to investors seeking to better understand the science of alternative proteins. We cannot comment on specific companies’ technology or review materials from individual companies as part of this service. Rather, we provide context for the industry as a whole to complement your due diligence efforts.
Note: Due to the large number of requests we receive for these technical education sessions, we offer this service on a case-by-case basis for investors who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Investors who routinely lead deals at Series A or beyond.
- Investors who typically join the capitalization table at Series B or beyond.
To request a session, please fill out the Corporate Engagement support form.
Quarterly investor newsletter
GFI’s quarterly newsletter provides investors with timely industry insights, new investment data and analysis, research, and tools to aid their exploration and due diligence of the alternative protein industry. This is your go-to source for investment data and news.
Invest in the entire industry with a donation to GFI
In addition to investing in individual startups, a donation to GFI will maximize your impact for the entire alternative protein industry. Receiving 100 percent of our funding through philanthropy allows us to keep resources and advisory services free and open-access.
GFI engages with all stakeholders across the value chain — from investors and startups to established manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice companies. This allows us to accelerate the entire alternative protein industry.
Resources for investors
Explore the landscape of plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation companies including consumer brands, manufacturers, and ingredients companies.
Considering investing in an alternative protein startup? Find support and resources here for conducting due diligence.
This global analysis of the cultivated meat industry covers investments, consumer insights, and scientific progress in this growing market sector.
This analysis of the U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy market covers sales data, investment analytics, consumer insights, and more.
This analysis of fermentation for alternative protein production covers science, entrepreneurship, policy, and industry investments.
Our report explores the global alternative seafood industry’s commercial landscape and shares the latest on investments, sales data, and consumer insights.
See an overview of U.S. retail sales data for plant-based meat, egg, and dairy products, including market size, growth, and purchase dynamics.
Enroll in GFI’s open-access online course to learn about the science of plant-based and cultivated meat.
Sustainable Seafood Initiative
Learn how plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated seafood can improve the health and sustainability of oceans.
Find innovation opportunities
We’ve worked to identify specific commercial white spaces that offer clear business opportunities for investors in the industry. View our full Solutions Database for further ideas.
Enabling easy animal ingredient substitutions in a wide range of food products.
Academic researchers or consortia consisting of several cultivated meat companies should undertake research aimed at understanding metabolic pathways and fluxes within cultivated meat-relevant cell types. The outputs of this research…
Affordable animal-free omega-3 ingredients for alternative seafood and other alternative protein applications
In order to appeal to health-conscious consumers, alternative seafood products should contain similar omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, content to conventional seafood. Animal-free omega-3 ingredients can be expensive…
Join the GFI investor directory
The GFI investor directory is a list of investors who have expressed interest in plant-based foods, fermentation-enabled products, cultivated meat, and other innovative alternatives to animal products.
Note that you must be an accredited investor under SEC Regulation D to be added to this list. GFI is not providing any recommendations or endorsements of included startups. Any investment is made at the investor’s own risk.