Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer invest in plant-based start-up NotCo helping it reach Unicorn status

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AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and tennis player Roger Federer have invested in Chilean foodtech company NotCo, helping it get to Unicorn status.

The company announced on Monday (26.07.2021) that it’s raised $235 million in its latest funding round, reaching an overall value of $1.5 billion.

The funding was led by Tiger Global with further investment from DFJ Growth Fund and ZOMA Capital, a funding branch of ZOMALAB that aims to contribute to job growth, social impact and economic opportunity by investing in innovative companies in Chile. 

Jeff Besos-backed NotCo, which makes plant-based milk, ice-cream, mayonnaise and burgers, uses the Giuseppe technology to create vegan food. The company describes Giuseppe as an algorithm that “who could learn infinite combinations of plants to replicate animal products  to make them sustainable and taste even better.”.

Founded in Chile in 2015 by technologists Matias Muchnick, Pablo Zamora and Karim Pichara, the company is part-owned by Amazon Jeff Bezos’s Expeditions and venture capital firm The Craftory. 
Since 2021 NotCo’s NotMeat is used in Burger King and Papa John’s vegan products. 

NotCo plans to use the investment to create new products and expand in Europe and Asia.

NotCo investor Lewis Hamilton has longed praised his vegan diet and lifestyle for keeping him in peak physical and mental shape and helping him win Formula One races. Tennis champion Roger Federer ate a vegetarian diet for years and whilst not currently plant-based, in 2020 he launched a vegan sneaker in partnership with Swiss company On.

Lewis and Federer are just some of the athletes investing in plant-based companies. In June it was announced that former Manchester United player Chris Smalling had invested in vegan food company Heura, a year after the Roma footballer invested in plant-based meat company THIS, one of the Food Matters Live 2020 Awards winners. 

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