Eat Just, Inc., the leading company in the plant-based egg space, whose product JUST Egg dominates the category in retail and foodservice, has announced that it has secured funding from the non-profit VegInvest/Ahimsa Foundation.
Shaleen Shah, President of Ahimsa Foundation said in a statement that “Eat Just and its leadership in the industry play a critical part in building a kinder, safer food system. We’re proud of this investment and the continued partnership to make products that consumers love without causing the harm inherent in animal agriculture.”
The announcement did not include any mention of how much the company received. When pressed on the topic, an Eat Just spokesperson told Green Queen the company was not commenting on the amount of the round. However, Bloomberg Businessweek, which was first to break the story, reported that the Ahimsa Foundation provided $16 million.
Further, Satish Karandikar, principal at Ahimsa and VegInvest Trust, told Bloomberg that the funds were intended to “help Eat Just grow and become sustainable,” adding that the company “needed this short-term boost”, and that the “product is very good” and the company just needed to “work on costs and logistics to make it profitable.”
Veginvest/ and Ahimsa Foundation have been longtime supporters of Eat Just. The non-profit organization is committing to supporting companies that help facilitate the removal of animals from the food system and their initial investment and partnership paved the way for the commercial launch of JUST Egg, which has now sold the equivalent of 400 million eggs, saving more than 14 billion gallons of water, 69 million kilograms of CO2e, and 21,000 acres of land.
Eat Just’s co-founder and CEO, Josh Tetrick said: “We founded this company to take the animal out of the equation, and today, we’re proud to continue this vital work with an investor who has shown an unwavering commitment to this ideal. Our work is not easy and not certain, but it’s what is required.”
To date, Eat Just has raised over $850 million in funding, with $267 million for GOOD Meat. The company, which started out in 2011 under the name Hampton Creek is backed by VC heavyweights including Vulcan Capital, Graphene Ventures and K3 Ventures. The company has also attracted investment from foreign funds such as Li Ka-Shing’s Hong Kong-based Horizon Ventures, Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and the Qatar Investment Authority.
The newly secured funding will enable Eat Just, a frontrunner in the alternative protein sector that also boasts the cultivated chicken brand GOOD Meat, to further drive enhancements in product quality and profitability.
The company, whose liquid and frozen patty vegan egg products are available at over 48,000 retail locations in North America, says it currently has 99% market share in the plant-based egg category, with a repeat purchase rate of 51%.
According to the release, foodservice sales for JUST Egg surged by 15% and 39% in the first and second quarters of this year, respectively, driven by significant launches in airlines, coffee chains, colleges, and universities.
In a report released earlier this year, alternative protein industry think thank the Good Food Institute (GFI) noted that the plant-based egg category is “modest in size, yet growing at an exceptionally rapid rate—the fastest of any plant-based category, although on a relatively small base.”
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