SAN FRANCISCO — Lypid, a startup creating vegan fats, raised $4 million in a seed round led by Green Generation Fund.
The San Francisco-based company was founded by Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee, two Taiwanese PhDs who met at Cornell University. The pair’s flagship product, PhytoFat, is positioned as a healthier fat alternative for the plant-based protein market, which relies heavily on palm oil and coconut oil for ingredients.
Created using a proprietary formula and processing method, PhytoFat maintains its animal-like qualities when cooked above 329°F (165°C). It offers juicy animal-like textures and melting behaviors, extended flavor delivery and a better nutritional profile than other plant-based fats, according to Lypid. The product contains no artificial additives, no hydrogenation and no trans fats.
Mr. Huang and Ms. Lee participated in the SOSV life sciences program at IndieBio in 2021, where they transitioned from the mindset of a scientist to the mindset of an entrepreneur to form their B2B go-to-market strategy. They plan to bring PhytoFat to market this year.
“We see fat as a critical catalyst to bring meat alternatives to the next level — tastier, healthier and more sustainable,” Mr. Huang said. “Now our goal is to bring production of PhytoFat to the industrial level. We are aiming to produce more than 10 tons per year for each production line.”
Big Idea Ventures, Foodland Ventures and SOSV’s IndieBio also participated in Lypid’s seed round, which marked the fifth investment for Berlin-based Green Generation Fund. Other portfolio companies include mammary technology startup Biomilq, plant-based egg maker Bettr Egg, vegan food brand Rainforest Co. and Libre Foods, which uses fermentation to create whole-cut meat alternatives.“Not only since the pandemic, the market for plant-based meat has exploded,” said Manon Sarah Littek, lead investor and founding partner of Green Generation Fund. “Our team is looking forward to supporting Michelle and Jen-Yu in launching their product to market and building an outstanding ingredient provider in order to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.”