HumanCo, the fledgling US firm building businesses “with health and sustainability at their core”, has attracted investment from former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.

The Texas-based company listed Nooyi as one of the new investors that have contributed to a new tranche of funding at the business.

HumanCo said it had raised US$35m in “bridge funding”, with backers also including former Whole Foods Market CEO Walter Robb and Vital Proteins founder Kurt Seidensticker.

Alongside news of the new finance, HumanCo also announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Against the Grain, a Vermont supplier of grain-free and gluten-free products.

HumanCo was set up by Jason Karp, a former hedge fund manager who co-founded Hu Master Holdings, the US vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate maker Mondelez International acquired this year.

In April, it emerged Karp had started Snow Days, a manufacturer of ‘clean-label’ frozen pizza bites and put that under the HumanCo umbrella. Last July, HumanCo bought the majority of US plant-based ice-cream business Coconut Bliss for an undisclosed sum.

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“With this recent round of funding, we have gained an incredible and diverse amount of institutional knowledge and resources that will benefit our existing and future brands within the HumanCo family,” Karp, also the company’s CEO, said. The bridge round also included investment from the worlds of music, film and sport. US film star Scarlett Johansson had already taken part in HumanCo’s Series A round and she has been joined by investors including US actor Edward Norton, tennis player Venus Williams and Canadian singer Shawn Mendes.

Against the Grain, set up in 2005, offers products including grain-free pizza and gluten-free cake mixes.

Karp added: “As a family-owned business that leads with transparency and sustainability, Against the Grain is a great fit for HumanCo that will further accelerate our mission and growth.”

Nooyi was PepsiCo’s CEO from 2006 to 2018 before stepping down and being succeeded by company veteran Ramon Laguarta.