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Shifting the Largest Meat Market

Shifting the Largest Meat Market
July 2, 2020

Beyond Meat cracks China, the largest direct-to-consumer meat market, and is entering grocery stores there through a partnership with Alibaba, which will begin selling the meatless burger patties at its innovation-driven Freshippo chain. The company already entered the mainland via a restaurant deal with Starbucks back in April and has expanded its products to Yum China's KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. The news should help shares of Beyond Meat, which have slipped about 10% over the past week after McDonald's ended a trial of its meatless burger in Canada.

The impressive growth of the alternative meat industry is also getting help from Chinese government health guidelines. In 2016 the Ministry of Health halved its official guidelines for the recommended daily intake of meat — a radical diet plan that could trim $100B from the bloated meat retail market. While that’s bad news for traditional butchers, it’s a positive sign for the burgeoning alternative meat industry, which is eager to grab a slice of China.

Since then, Nestle has opened up alternative meat factories in China to be closer to consumers. A slew of newcomers, domestic and international, has also joined the race to grab market share. 

Most recently, the country has recently been hit by African swine fever, which has decimated the pork supply. Deadly for pigs but harmless to humans, the fever broke out in August 2018 and has only gotten worse. In all, authorities have had to cull more than 1 million pigs, which caused a shortage of meat and doubled the cost of pork. A push towards alternative meat would ease the supply issue and could not come at a more opportune time. 

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Alternative Protein Companies:

Good Catch specializes in developing plant-based seafood alternatives. It offers vegetarian shredded tuna, crab cakes, and fish patties made of lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, and other legumes. The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Newtown, Pennsylvania. While pescatarian flavors have risen in popularity among consumers with a sophisticated palate, the plant-based trend has also continued to rise. This overlap that Good Catch uniquely occupies is one of the reasons why it’s betting on success in 2020 and beyond.

Ripple Foods is a California-based brand of pea-protein dairy alternative products. The company was founded in 2014 by Adam Lowry and Neil Renninger in Emeryville, California. In 2017, Ripple Foods entered a deal with natural food distributor United Natural Foods to bring their pea protein beverage to the Canadian market.

New Wave Foods was founded in 2015 when Michelle Wolf, who has a background in material science and biomedical engineering, met Dominique Barnes, an oceanographer. After years of witnessing problems in the seafood supply chain, they decided to combine their expertise to make a positive impact. The product uses seaweed extract to provide the bite and texture of the product. “Plant protein” is also used. While distribution has not yet begun, the company is aiming to focus mostly on restaurants and hotels.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Hunters, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that helps enterprises defend themselves from intruders and analyze attacks, announces that it has raised a $15M Series A funding round from Microsoft’s M12 and U.S. Venture Partners. Seed investors YL Ventures and Blumberg Captial also participated in this round, as well as new investor Okta Ventures, the venture arm of identity provider Okta. With this funding, Hunters has now raised a total of $20.4M.

Upsolver, an early-stage startup, who seeks to simplify big data analysis by using a visual platform and SQL, announces 
a $13M Series A.

Fivetran snares $100M Series C on $1.2B valuation for its data connectivity solution.

NexHealth’s founder went from a receptionist at a clinic in the Bronx to $12M in funding.

Protaryx Medical, a company committed to reimagining access to the left atrium for transcatheter cardiac procedures, announces that it has raised $8.3M in funding to develop the company’s first-in-class device for precision transseptal access to the left atrium during structural heart and catheter ablation procedures. The company’s funding includes non-dilutive grants and a seed round totaling $3.2M and the recently closed $5.1M Series A financing led by Ajax Health, with participation from University of Maryland (UM) Ventures, a returning investor.

Mynd Property Management, an Oakland, Calif.-based tech-enabled property management company, closes a Series C round of financing totaling $41.5M.

Freeline, a biotechnology company focused on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases, announces the closing of a $120M extended Series C financing. The financing augments Syncona’s previously announced Series C investment in Freeline of $40M (£30.6M) with an additional $80M (£61.2M) of new capital. The round was led by Novo Holdings A/S, Eventide Asset Management and Wellington Management Company, with additional participation from Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund.

Hi Marley, a startup developing an AI messaging platform for insurers, announces it has raised $8M. The company says it will put the funds toward hiring, including expanding its engineering and customer-facing teams, as it continues to build out APIs and partnerships.

WeWork sells Flatiron School to Carrick Capital Partners.

OneTrust, an Atlanta-based privacy software company valued at nearly $3B, has acquired Seattle startup Integris Software.

NetObjex announces its acquisition of VitalGrid of Toronto, Canada, to expand its Digital Transformation product and service offerings.  Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Liquid Web acquires ServerSide, a leading Microsoft Windows CMS Hosting Provider.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
908 Profiles Updates | 176 M&A Deals172 Funding Activities
    Revenues, EV, EBITDA, and Valuations
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