These startups are shifting away from animal-based protein sources to develop everything from plant-based burgers to dairy-free cheeses to imitation shrimp, and more.
Alternative proteins are quickly becoming a staple of modern-day diets.
The rise of these new proteins — including dairy substitutes, meat & seafood substitutes, plant proteins, and more — is being driven by factors including:
- Greater environmental awareness
- Dietary restraints
- Emerging food tech innovation
Investors are paying more attention to these trends. Meat substitutes, in particular, are gaining momentum and even seeing investment by incumbent meat producers. Tyson Foods invested in plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat, and Cargill invested in lab-grown meat provider Memphis Meats.
We used the CB Insights database to identify over 50 startups offering alternative proteins. The companies in the following graphic have raised over $880M in aggregate funding, led by plant-based meat startup Impossible Foods, which has raised $258M from Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Google Ventures, among others.