NEW YORK — Green Circle Capital Partners has launched a venture capital division, Green Circle Foodtech Ventures, with an anchor investment from Hormel Foods Corp.’s new venturing unit, 199 Ventures.
“We are excited to be investing in the fund and all that it will do to help jumpstart this growing category,” said Bryan Kreske, leader of 199 Ventures at Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods. “Since committing to invest in the fund, we are looking forward to the many areas of investment, including alternative protein and plant-based foods.”
With a target of $25 million in committed capital, Green Circle Foodtech Ventures is considering seed stage and Series A investments in food technology enterprises that “bridge the gap between sustainable food supply and population growth,” said Stu Strumwasser, founder of Green Circle and co-managing partner of Green Circle Foodtech Ventures. Areas of interest include alternative protein, fermentation, food safety, shelf-life extension, food production automation, bioplastics and sustainable packaging, and plant-based ingredients. The fund is led by a team of experienced investment professionals and former food and beverage operators.
“Having a leading global branded food company in our corner, providing support and resources for portfolio companies, is incredibly exciting and opportune for us and for the companies in which we will invest,” Mr. Strumwasser said. “The experience in food production, distribution, and marketing, and the global resources Hormel Foods can provide to support our portfolio companies could be the difference between a cool idea and a dominant technology or tech-enabled CPG brand of the future. The Hormel Foods team is a caring group of forward-looking professionals, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them to effect meaningful change in the food supply system.”
Green Circle Capital Advisors, the investment banking advisory division of Green Circle Capital Partners, has been investing in natural food, beverage and supplements companies since 2013. Green Circle co-led the seed round of The Better Meat Co., a producer of mycelium-based protein, in 2019. The experience laid the groundwork for the new fund, according to Green Circle.