Chilean foodtech NotCo raised a US$30m investment led by The Craftory, with participation from Bezos Expeditions, MAYA Capital and previous investor KaszeK Ventures. NotCo is The Craftory and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ first known investment in a Latin American startup company. The investment will be used to accelerate international expansion and new product development.
(Medium) Latin America’s leading plant-based food brand, the Chilean-based NotCo®, has completed a USD $30M financing round led by The Craftory, with participation from Bezos Expeditions, MAYA CAPITAL and previous investors Kaszek Ventures. The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s international expansion and new product launch and development. Notably, NotCo is both The Craftory and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ first investment in a Latin American startup company.
“NotCo is a true challenger and has the potential to transform the food production industry. NotCo’s healthy line of plant-based alternatives not only taste great, but help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions — a global imperative we support. We’re delighted to be working with the NotCo team and look forward to supporting them as they grow,” commented Elio Leoni-Sceti, co-founder & chief crafter at The Craftory.
Nicolas Szekasy, Managing Partner at Kaszek Ventures, added, “NotCo’s unique technology has proven that it is possible to truly disrupt the food industry, with better and more sustainable products that people actually love.”
NotCo’s® scientists have developed a unique machine-learning algorithm and proprietary ingredient dataset that can be leveraged to quickly and efficiently use plant ingredients to develop accurate copies of animal-based food such as milk, mayonnaise, ice cream, cheese, yogurt and more. NotCo’s technology creates products that perfectly-match animal-based food products in flavor, functionality, texture, mouth-feel, color and smell, while delivering superior nutrition and environmental sustainability.
NotCo’s first product, Not Mayo®, is already sold in more than 1000 stores in Chile (including retailers WalMart, Cencosud, Tottus, and Unimarc) and currently launching in Brazil (in the largest retailer, GPA) and Argentina. NotMayo is a delicious, creamy and eggless mayonnaise, but without the downsides of traditional mayo. “NotMayo has become the fastest growing product in its category, reaching 10% of market share as to December 2018. Consumers tell us that they love that the product tastes like excellent mayo, but is affordable and produced by a purpose-driven company. We are looking forward to continue to delivering new NotCo products to grocery shelves, improving our offering while providing delicious and healthy food experiences for our customers,” says Juan Pablo Valdes, Head of Food Business Development at Cencosud Supermarkets, NotCo’s first client in Latin America.
With this financing round, NotCo aims to introduce its disruptive food products in markets around the world. “We have a very aggressive plan that will allow us to fulfill our mission of generating real impact in our society. The world can’t scale anymore with the food industry operating as it is today. We are working relentlessly to lead the food revolution and be the spearhead of a sustainable planet,” remarked Matias Muchnick, The Not Company Co-Founder and CEO.
In addition to Not Mayo®, the company is preparing the commercial launch of its revolutionary Not Milk® and Not Ice Cream®, cutting-edge plant-based milk and ice cream that were developed by NotCo’s Artificial Intelligence platform in under three months. Both products are 100% plant-based, but taste, look, feel and smell exactly like animal-based milk and ice-cream, while also keeping their functional properties intact (blending, foaming, cooking, etc.) and improving their nutritional values.
“Since the day we started to work on the Not Milk® formula, we aimed to create a plant-based milk that could perfectly replace the traditional cow-milk in taste and functionalities while also improving its nutritional value. We happened to find ingredients in the making that haven’t been used before to reach that goal. This is what makes NotMilk not just an alternative, but a groundbreaking replacement to regular milk,” says Co-Founder Pablo Zamora PhD, CSO at NotCo.
Muchnick added: “It is a great endorsement to have our new investors The Craftory and Bezos Expeditions investing in our business, as we continue to innovate and create enjoyable and sustainable new food products aimed at the mass market. Our technology, combined with their expertise in brand building, manufacturing and distributing consumer packaged goods, will allow us to further disrupt the food industry and expand our offering to a global audience. NotCo’s raise is another victory for the plant-based food industry and especially for all the people around the world that will soon have access to NotCo’s innovative foods.”