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Startup Raises $7M to Help Food Companies Replace Artificial Additives With Plants

 The funding will be used to help set up a U.S. headquarters, form strong B2B licensing partnerships in the country as well as strengthen the company’s…

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The funding will be used to help set up a U.S. headquarters, form strong B2B licensing partnerships in the country as well as strengthen the company’s IP protections.

 
   

Boston, Massachusetts, January 5, 2022 -- The Live Green Co has closed a $7 million Pre-Series A round to advance its vision of making additive-free, sustainably-produced, healthily-formulated, and clean-label foods easily and widely available.

The investment was led by DRADS Capital, a Boston-based venture fund investing in life sciences, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence (AI) companies.

Other investors in the Pre-Series A include seed-round investors Draco Latam, Fondo Alerce Venture Capital from Chile, and NOA Capital from Mexico as well as new investors Goshen Capital Inc. from Canada, Fen Ventures from Chile, and Flambeau Capital Partners from Argentina. Some select global angel investors also participated in the new round.

Founded in 2018, The Live Green Co has been developing its own AI recommendation engine that uses ancestral data about plants to prescribe 100% natural plant alternatives to the animal, synthetic, and ultra-processed additives in food products. It has already done successful pilots with global food manufacturers like the Mexican multinational Sigma.

Called Charaka, the company’s proprietary technology platform is bringing together ancestral wisdoms of plant nutrition to shape a database of plant-only alternatives to all the animal, synthetic, and ultra-processed additives the industry currently uses.

Every plant and plant part is scientifically validated and their benefits are quantified using biotech, and machine learning is leveraged to find even more plants and combinations of plants that can make the food system innately healthy and sustainable. The Live Green Co hopes to make the repository a “unique global reference point for the future of food on our planet.”

The company will use the new funding to further develop different aspects of its business, including its tech platform, intellectual property (IP), team, partnerships and operations and to prepare for an exponential Series A round in the next 12 to 15 months.

In particular, the money will be used to set up the headquarters of Live Green in the United States, strengthen Charaka’s capabilities and IP protections, grow its team, and form strong B2B licensing and manufacturing partnerships.

The startup is also planning to R&D more formulations using Charaka, including dairy, chicken, snacks, and natural supplements.

“Overall, we have identified over 30 product lines and more than 150 additives that are being consumed the most across the globe, and we are currently focused on creating tastier, healthier, and more sustainable plant-only alternatives for these using Charaka,” says Sasikanth Chemalamudi, co-founder and chief operating officer at The Live Green Co.

The company researched, developed, and commercialized a diverse range of 15 stock keeping units (SKUs) across five product lines in Chile, their pilot market, in less than 20 months and with only a $500,000 spend. These product lines—burger mixes, baking mixes, frozen burgers, ice creams, and protein bars—are not only plant-based but also free of additives, allergens, gluten, cholesterol, and trans fats. They are all nutrition dense and produced and packaged sustainably using local, fair trade and circular principles.

Revenue-wise, The Live Green Co has grown 10 times since its $1.2 million seed round in 2020 after the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We see a very strong future-forward trend of reformulation and new product development (NPD) of ‘additives-free’ and ‘clean-label’ products, not just imitating animal products,” says Priyanka Srinivas, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

She added that they are using their proprietary technology to bring in a paradigm shift from “plant-based” to “plant-only”.

“Most importantly, we’re taking a collaborative B2B approach to our business model in order to be large-scale change agents and help accelerate the world’s transition to healthy and sustainable food,” Srinivas said, referring to their plans to license Charaka’s formulations, ingredients and products to retailers, food manufacturers and ingredient companies.

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About The Live Green Co.
The Live Green Co. is a Chilean-origin startup founded by Priyanka Srinivas and Sasikanth C in 2018. The company aims to transform the food industry at scale using proprietary technology that helps R&D plant-only products with clean labels, functional ingredients, and sustainable production and packaging. The company was incubated at Start-Up Chile, Parallel 18 (Puerto Rico), Sigma Tastech México, ProVeg (Germany) Incubator and Respond (BMW Foundation, Germany) accelerators, and is supported by international startup investment firms.


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