Invest in a good food future

Investments in alternative proteins are at an all-time high. 

  • The alternative protein industry raised $5 billion in investments in 2021—60 percent more than the $3.1 billion raised in 2020. 
  • Alternative protein companies have raised almost $11.1 billion in invested capital since 2010, 73 percent or $8 billion of which was raised since 2020 when the coronavirus first disrupted global markets. 
  • Amid increasing global efforts to mitigate the climate crisis, address land and water issues, and prevent the next pandemic, these figures signal a growing appetite for climate-friendly investments with returns beyond the bottom line.
Alt protein investment summary graph

Source: GFI analysis of PitchBook Data, Inc. Data has not been reviewed by PitchBook analysts.

Note: Invested capital includes accelerator and incubator funding, angel funding, seed funding, equity and product crowdfunding, early-stage venture capital, late-stage venture capital, private equity growth/expansion, capitalization, corporate venture, joint venture, convertible debt, and general debt completed deals. Liquidity events comprises mergers, acquisitions, reverse mergers, buyouts, leveraged buyouts, and IPOs. All deals include invested capital, liquidity events and other financing, which comprises subsequent public share offerings and private investment in public equity.

In the first quarter of 2022, alternative protein companies raised $991 million, a modest reduction from the high pace of investment growth in 2021 amid significant geopolitical and market turmoil. This slowdown aligns with a reduction in funding of private companies globally. Of the overall $911 million, $475 million flowed to plant-based companies, $290 million to fermentation companies, and $146 million to cultivated meat companies. There were five raises of at least $100 million–and another that came close at $85 million– with high geographic distribution. Companies raising these major rounds were based in Israel (Redefine Meat, Remilk), China (Starfield Food Science & Technology), Singapore (Next Gen Foods), and the U.S. (Wildtype and MycoTechnology).  

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.

Investor directory

Investor directory

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 startup@gfi.org 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

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

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. 

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. 

Technical workshops

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.

Hands holding a seedling representing support and growth

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

A shopper compares plant-based meat products in a supermarket aisle

Company and Fundraising Database

Explore the landscape of plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation companies including consumer brands, manufacturers, and ingredients companies.

Investors researching and reviewing data with a laptop and data reports

Investor due diligence support

Considering investing in an alternative protein startup? Find support and resources here for conducting due diligence.

2021 cultivated meat and seafood state of the industry report cover

State of the Industry Report: Cultivated Meat

This global analysis of the cultivated meat industry covers investments, consumer insights, and scientific progress in this growing market sector.

Plant-based state of the industry report cover

State of the Industry Report: Plant-Based Meat, Eggs, and Dairy

This analysis of the U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy market covers sales data, investment analytics, consumer insights, and more.

2021 fermentation state of the industry report cover

State of the Industry Report: Fermentation

This analysis of fermentation for alternative protein production covers science, entrepreneurship, policy, and industry investments.

Alternative seafood industry update report cover

State of the Industry Report: Alternative seafood

Our report explores the global alternative seafood industry’s commercial landscape and shares the latest on investments, sales data, and consumer insights.

Spins graphic

Plant-based retail market overview

See an overview of U.S. retail sales data for plant-based meat, egg, and dairy products, including market size, growth, and purchase dynamics.

Hands typing on a laptop computer keyboard, representing mooc concept for cultured meat and plant-based meat science.

Massive open online course

Enroll in GFI’s open-access online course to learn about the science of plant-based and cultivated meat.

A school of fish swimming along a reef underwater

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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.

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B2B media development company

The cultivated meat industry needs dedicated suppliers of low-cost, food-grade cell culture media to reduce cultivated meat production costs. Close collaboration between the customer and supplier will be required in…

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Animal-free, non-recombinant albumin and transferrin for cultivated meat

The identification of non-animal, non-recombinant proteins with similar functionality to serum albumin and transferrin will lead to major cost reductions in cell culture media development, facilitating progress toward achieving price…

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Animal ingredient substitution

Enabling easy animal ingredient substitutions in a wide range of food products.

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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. 

Read our FAQs about the GFI investor directory. If you have additional questions, please reach out to corporate@gfi.org

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