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29 Jul 2022

Sentient Ventures: new £30m fund launches to support the scale up of the best alternatives to animal products

Sentient Ventures: new £30m fund launches to support the scale up of the best alternatives to animal products

A new £30m impact fund, Sentient Ventures, has launched today to support the growth of the best international successors to animal products.

It brings together Veg Capital’s Matthew Glover – also co-founder of Veganuary – and Alexandra Clark, with former investment banker and founder of MVK Group Manish Karani. They form a dedicated, mission-driven management team who have made and advised over 30 investments into animal-alternative companies to date, with their current portfolio including VFC, LoveRaw, Purezza, Shicken, Libre Foods and more.

The new fund targets a 3-5 x MOIC (return on investment) and will provide early growth-stage capital (pre and series A) to plant- and fermentation-based companies that have proved their concept and gained significant traction and are now looking to scale-up production and reach new consumers and markets.

Sentient Ventures is a movement of individuals driven to contribute to a better future by enabling the removal of animals from the supply chain. Animal agriculture is a major GHG emitter and user of land and other resources, driving multiple crises, including biodiversity loss and species extinction, water pollution and shortages, antimicrobial resistance, the spread of foodborne and zoonotic diseases, and the climate emergency. Further, farmed animals suffer immensely in food production systems, often kept in dark and unsanitary conditions, and deprived of the freedom to move around and express their natural behaviours. Replacing commonly consumed animal products can mitigate and reverse these negative impacts.

To ensure that delivering impact goes hand-in-hand with delivering strong financial returns, each investment opportunity is assessed with Sentient Ventures’ in-house proprietary impact assessment tool, which has been developed by environmental expert Tom Chapman.  The methodology can gauge several metrics, including animal lives spared, days of suffering reduced, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water pollution. Investments are also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Sentient Ventures core team is completed with Suzanne van der Maarel, whose background unites the corporate world with sustainable innovation.

Explaining the motivation behind the new fund, co-principal Matthew Glover said, “Sentient Ventures was born of both passion and frustration: frustration that not enough is being done at a high-level to move to a more sustainable and humane food system, and passion for the novel solutions that are reshaping food production without animals, and the founders behind them. While the world deals with a confluence of crises that are currently impacting global supply chains, we will support the scale-up of the companies pioneering innovative food solutions to enable consumers to make better choices.

“In addition, now is a prime time to invest in alternative protein companies. The plant-based foods market is booming – set to be worth over $162 billion by 2030 – while the threat of recession means lower valuations and less competition.”

If you are an investor seeking humane and sustainable investment opportunities or are a mission-aligned founder seeking funding, please visit the Sentient Ventures website to learn more.

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