A team of San Francisco chemists is turning to technology to solve a global problem: producing affordable and healthy food without pillaging the land.

Hampton Creek has raised $23M to create alternative plant-based food like Just Mayo.
Hampton Creek has raised $23M to create alternative plant-based food like Just Mayo.

Hampton Creek’s first product, Just Mayo, does this by displacing the egg with plant-based proteins. It currently costs $4.49 a jar at Whole Foods and will debut at other national chains starting in April. Another product, Eat the Dough, is an egg-less cookie dough. That will launch next month for an undisclosed price. Eventually, the aim is to make products versatile enough to appeal to foodies or budget-conscious shoppers. But at nearly $5 a pop, that sounds more like a goal for the moment.

Still, the opportunity to do good and be pioneers in this greenfield had top-shelf VCs salivating at the chance to invest.

This morning, Hampton Creek announced it has raised $23 million in a second round from a wide range of investors. Leading the charge was Li Ka-shing, who is known as the wealthiest man in Asia. He contributed the vast majority — $15.5 million. Also participating were Ali and Hadi Partovi, the twin brothers bankrolling Code.org; Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang; Bill Gates via Khosla Ventures; AME Cloud Ventures, Jessica Powell of Google; Scott Banister; Ash Patel; Collaborative Fund; and Kat Taylor and Tom Steyers of Eagle Cliff. To date, Hampton Creek has received $30 million.

“We live in a time where the unhealthy choice is dirt cheap and convenient. And the healthy choice is pricey and inconvenient,” said CEO and founder Josh Tetrick, in a statement. “Our goal has always been to build a company that brings healthier and affordable food to everyone, everywhere. Solving a problem means actually solving the problem for most people – not just the folks that can afford to pay $5.99 for organic eggs.”

Tetrick co-founded Hampton Creek in 2011 after spending seven years working in Sub-Saharan Africa with the President of Liberia and the United Nations. He’s also a Fulbright Scholar and former college football player.

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Comments

  • Kenneth Hagist

    Great, more processed food products (aka not actual food) that media outlets are confusing with healthy real whole foods. Or these companies are marketing these products as healthy and media outlets are allowing them to do so. Remember marketing is the legal form of lying. Why don’t we as humans/culture/society just choose to eat whole real foods instead of the “unhealthy choice is dirt cheap and convenient.”

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