Saudi Arabia's Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed’s KBW Ventures has invested in Eclipse Foods, a plant-based dairy alternative producer based in the US.
Oakland, California-based Eclipse Foods raised $40 million in a Series B funding round led by Sozo Ventures with participation from other funds including Forerunner Ventures, Initialized Capital, Gaingels and KBW Ventures, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, we recognised that global diets must change,” Aylon Steinhart, co-founder and chief executive of Eclipse Foods, said.
“Consumers want more than just a dairy alternative like almond milk — they want a true replacement. Our plant-based dairy platform uses micelles, the microscopic magic of milk, to create the replacement products that consumers have been craving, and our growth over the last three years is a testament to that.”
The company will use the new funding to fuel the growth of the business in retail and food service, accelerate research and development on its proprietary plant-based dairy platform, expand its workforce and increase marketing of dairy replacement, it said.
With the latest round of funding, Eclipse Foods has raised more than $60m to date, with investors including Seth Goldman, the chairman of Beyond Meat and founder of Honest Tea; Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit; Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, green tech venture capitalist; and tech accelerator Y Combinator.
Eclipse Foods has grown its retail presence by 2100 per cent year-over-year, with Whole Foods Market, Albertsons, Vons, GoPuff among the retailers stocking its pints, it said.
The brand is also expanding its food service partnerships, working with restaurants, burger chains, ice cream shops, stadiums and others.
Eclipse Foods most recently announced its partnership with Smashburger, launching non-dairy milkshakes at the fast-casual restaurant chain and the first plant-based menu item for the restaurant.
“Seventy per cent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant and with the alternative protein space projected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2050, Eclipse is positioned to completely transform the dairy industry with its proprietary plant-based dairy platform,” Koichiro Nakamura, founder and general partner of Sozo Ventures, said.
KBW Ventures has invested in a number of companies in the food technology sector. Its portfolio includes plant-based alternative and cultivated cellular product companies.
These include plant-based chicken product manufacturer Rebellyous Foods, US fast food company Veggie Grill and vegan jerky company Moku Foods.
This year, KBW Ventures participated in a pre-seed funding round of TurtleTree Labs, a Singapore company using biotechnology to create milk from cells.
In January, it agreed a follow-on investment in California-based BlueNalu, which produces laboratory-grown seafood.
BlueNalu raised $60m in debt through the issue of new convertible notes to both and existing investors.