Melitas Ventures sponsored a Series A funding round for vegan business Abbot’s Butcher, which included celebrity investors Owen Wilson and Woody and Laura Harrelson. Abbot’s Butcher, founded in 2017 by animal-rights activist Kerry Song, uses pea protein, vegetables, herbs, spices, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegars to make soy- and nut-free vegan meats including chicken, beef, and chorizo.
“We are reframing the conversation around plant-based proteins. Where it’s not just about taste and mouthfeel, it’s about quality, and celebrating the power of exceptional ingredients—showing that food can be both healing and satisfying… We’re fortunate to have such outstanding investors that share this mission,” Song stated.
Tender Greens, a restaurant franchise, introduced Abbot’s Butcher’s vegan chicken in 31 locations in October 2019. The brand is presently available in 800 retail and foodservice locations across the country, and the Series A money will be used to expand distribution and develop additional products. “Abbot’s Butcher is paving the way for the next generation of plant-based meat alternative products. The company’s products are uniquely positioned as premium plant-based meat alternatives which are attracting strong interest from grocery and food service… We are excited to partner with Abbot’s Butcher and Founder and CEO Kerry Song as the brand scales to a nationwide staple in the US,” said Melitas Managing Partner Alex Malamatinas.
Celebrities are putting money into a meat-free future
Wilson and the Harrelsons (both long standing vegans) are supporting a future free of animal exploitation for the betterment of human, animal, and planetary health by investing in vegan meat, and many of their celebrity colleagues are on board as well.
Drake, who gave up meat in 2018, helped Daring Foods raise $40 million in a Series B fundraising round in May. Daring Foods manufactures genuine vegan chicken that shreds like the real thing. Snoop Dogg, a fellow musician, is a seasoned plant-based investor and an early supporter of vegan meat firm Beyond Meat. Outstanding Foods, which creates vegan bacon-flavored treats, is also backed by Snoop Dogg and NBA star JaVale McGee.
Jay-Z, the music mogul, has also been a vocal promoter of plant-based meat for a long time. Jay-Z helped plant-based chicken entrepreneur SIMULATE conclude a $50 million funding round in June through his investment firm Marcy Venture Partners, increasing the company’s total financial raise to $250 million.
Post Malone, through his venture capital firm Electric Feel Ventures, just invested in Actual Veggies. The company manufactures vegan meat analogues from “real veggies” such black beans, sweet potatoes, and greens, as the name implies.
Celebrities are assisting in the development of next-level meat
Vegan meat isn’t the only thing gaining celebrity attention. Many celebrities are now looking to invest in cellular agriculture, which aims to replace outdated ways of animal farming with technology that only requires a few animal cells to produce a large amount of meat. It’s a method that consumes far fewer resources than traditional animal agriculture and eliminates the necessity for animal slaughter.
Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor and environmentalist, has been a strong backer of Beyond Meat, a vegan meat brand, and invested in Aleph Farms and Mosa Meat, two firms that are striving to grow beef directly from animal cells, in September. Ashton Kutcher, a fellow actor and financial guru, joined the cellular agriculture bandwagon this month by investing in MeaTech, a company that 3D-prints full chunks of cell-based meat like structural beef, hog, and chicken, as well as animal-free ground meat.
“One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system… Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms offer new ways to satisfy the world’s demand for beef, while solving some of the most pressing issues of current industrial beef production. I’m very pleased to join them as an advisor and investor, as they prepare to introduce cultivated beef to consumers,” DiCaprio stated about his investment.
Source: “How Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson Are Investing In A Meat-Free Future” by VegNews