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Plant-based lamb start-up Black Sheep Foods secures $5.25M in first round of funding

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Black Sheep Foods

Image courtesy of Erin Ng

San Franciscan vegan meat brand Black Sheep Foods has raised $5.25M in its seed funding round.

Founded by Ismael Montanez and Sunny Kumar in 2019, the start-up produces plant-based wild and heritage meats like lamb and wild game, an untapped aspect of the vegan meat market until recently.

Investors in the company include New Crop Capital, AgFunder, Bessemer Venture Partners, Smita Conjeevaram, Meera and Ashok Vasudevan of Tastybites, and Siddhi Capital.

Black Sheep Foods aims to use the funding to improve the unique taste of its products to make their flavour profile more similar to that of quality cuts of lamb, and to explore new horizons by developing flavours for a vegan wild boar alternative.

Co-founder Kumar said in an interview with TechCrunch that the start-up wants to create a distinctive and appealing flavour that can be detected through the nose rather than the mouth.

The company’s products are made from a texturised pea protein, refined coconut oil, cocoa butter and high oleic sunflower oil.

The company says that its offering is completely free of dairy, soy, and gluten, making it allergen-friendly. The product is also cholesterol, hormone and antibiotic-free.

The meat alternative can be used to create lamb kofta, lamb meatballs, lamb jollof rice and lamb burger.

The brand has already partnered with several restaurants such as the San Francisco-based Greek chain, Souvla, and will soon be served in other spots in the same area including Chezchez, Joyride, Mazra and Beit Rima.

In November 2021, Black Sheep Foods announced a partnership with the Israeli foodtech company Equinom, who creates high-quality seeds using AI and seed breeding without GMO techniques.

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