The co-founder of the ‘Veganuary’ initiative has launched a new £30m investment vehicle today designed to spur growth in firms developing meat-free animal alternative products.
London-headquartered Sentient Ventures, headed up by Veganuary co-founder Matthew Glover, venture investor Alexandra Clark, and former investment banker Manish Karani, will pump early-stage growth capital of between £500,000 and £2.5m into plant- and fermentation-based companies globally
Co-founder Clark told City A.M. yesterday the fund would look to tap into firms fuelling the shift to net zero and removing animals from every stage of the supply chain.
“We are all bracing ourselves for a difficult few years. But the products that are going to succeed and thrive are the products that are better for the environment,” she said.
“We’re not just looking at the effects of the pandemic or the [Ukraine]war or climate change. We’re looking at all of them and how we can actually get better quality products to the consumer that don’t cause this environmental destruction.”Alexandra Clark
Sentient’s bosses said each investment will be weighed up using its own “impact assessment tool”, gauging metrics including animal lives spared, days of suffering reduced, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water pollution.
The founders are looking to tap into swelling demand for plant-based foods in the coming years with the market set to grow to 7.7 per cent of the global protein market by 2030. A 2021 report by Bloomberg Intelligence predicted that the value of the market could hit $162bn by 2030, up from $29.4bn in 2020.
Clark said that as demand continues to balloon, investors were taking note of the commercial opportunity in meat-free products as well as the cause.
“We are doing our utmost to ensure that our companies are not greenwashing, so that we can actually assess the companies and monitor their progress. And that ties into to the net zero agenda, so there’s interest through that angle, ” she said.
“But there is also just plain simple dollar signs, because these these companies are continuing to grow.”