Transform grape seeds into chocolate; Voyage Foods Raises Series A
Food technology company Voyage Foods raised a $36 million Series A round co-led by UBS O’Connor and Level One Fund, company CEO and founder Adam Maxwell told Axios.
- The startup previously raised $6 million and has a pre-money valuation of $85 million, he added.
Why it matters: The food tech company is pioneering a new approach to creating sustainable food alternatives by taking a widely available, environmentally friendly raw material and turning it into popular food.
- It’s a different tack from the plant-based approach, which takes ingredients like gelatins and emulsifiers and recombines them, or lab-grown meat, which can be expensive to produce, Maxwell says.
Details: Profits will be used to expand manufacturing, research and development, sales and marketing.
- This cycle should satiate the company for the next 12 to 18 months.
Between the lines: According to Maxwell, Voyage Foods not only solves the problem of sustainability, it also ensures that affordable versions of certain food products will be available for future generations.
- Cocoa plants, for example, will be under pressure due to climate change and therefore more susceptible to disease.
- Coffee and chocolate use large amounts of natural resources, namely water, and in some cases rely on child labor.
- “We can sell a chocolate bar at about the same price as a Hershey bar and still achieve positive margins,” he said of the company’s approach.
To note : The CEO came up with the idea for Voyage Foods while working at Endless West, where he helped create (on a molecular level) whiskeys without the barrel aging process and wines that didn’t come from grapes.
And after: The company’s first product will be a peanut butter spread that doesn’t come from peanuts, which will launch in a month.
- The next product will be coffee, which is produced from rice husks and will be launched in the third quarter, followed by chocolate in the fourth quarter, which will be unveiled in partnership with a major European confectioner.
- Voyage can turn grape seeds into chocolate.
The bottom line: It’s about “decoupling the food from the raw material by making chocolate without the cow or coffee without the arabica beans,” Maxwell said.