You might not have heard of the LIVEKINDLY Collective, but if you are a vegan, or aspiring to be that way you will certainly know of their brands. The food brand group boasts a whole range of familiar plant-based big-hitters including Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat and No Meat.
It has some serious competition too with the plant-based food market attracting significant amounts of investment cash reaching both existing alt-meat and upcoming cultured meat brands.
Now though LIVEKINDLY Collective has a serious war chest in the shape of $335 million which it has just received from the global impact investing arm of $103 billion investment firm TPG.
The company said it would use the money to expand into the US and China and to power additional acquisitions, partnerships and investments in plant-based foods.
The group was founded by some leading figures in the veggie food industry, including Kees Kruythoff, the former president of Unilever North America; Roger Lienhard, the founder of Blue Horizon; and Jodi Monelle, the chief executive and founder of LIVEKINDLY Media. Food industry veterans like Mick Van Ettinger, a former Unilever employee, and Aldo Uva, a former Nestlé employee, round out the team. They saw an opportunity to bring together some of the key emerging veggie/vegan brands and roll them up into one big company.
The gamble for both LIVEKINDLY and the investors is that although cultured meat is coming and may supersede plant-based meat, its technology is still a long way off. There is currently not one place in the world where a person can walk in off the street, sit down and eat cultured meat. In the years before it arrives though exists a gap which could deliver significant rewards for the plant-based meat companies. Longer-term they may still manage to maintain the loyalty of vegans and veggies who may have issues with eating cultured meat, which might just seem a little room authentic for them.
“We are building a global pureplay in plant-based alternatives — which we believe is the future of food,” said Roger Lienhard, founder and executive chairman of Blue Horizon and founder of LIVEKINDLY Collective. “In just one year, we have raised a significant amount of capital, which testifies to the urgency of our mission and the enormous investment opportunity it represents. We believe the momentum behind plant-based living will continue to grow in both the private and public markets.”
Steve Ellis, co-managing partner of The Rise Fund, has joined the LIVEKINDLY Collective board of directors, effective March 1, 2021.
“We are excited to work with LIVEKINDLY Collective and its ecosystem of innovative companies and world-class leaders to meet the growing global demand for healthy, plant-based, clean-label options,” said Ellis. “The company’s unique, mission-driven model operates across the entire value chain, from seed to fork, to drive worldwide adoption of plant-based alternatives