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July 5, 2021

Fledgling meat-free firm Better Nature gets backing

The UK business has attracted investment from local vehicle the Good Food Fund.

Better Nature, a UK meat-free business with products centred on tempeh, has received investment from local vehicle the Good Food Fund.

The accelerator and venture fund, which backs what it calls “healthier challenger brands”, has invested GBP350,000 (US$484,823) in Better Nature, which sells into the UK’s independent retailers.

The Good Food Fund is managed by venture-capital firm Ascension Ventures. The fund’s Limited Partners are social impact investor Big Society Capital and Impact on Urban Health, part of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity.

Better Nature, based in London and set up in 2018, will be supported by Mission Ventures, which runs the Good Food Fund’s accelerator.

Mission Ventures launched the Good Food Fund last year with Ascension Ventures, Big Society Capital and Impact on Urban Health.

Formerly known as Grocery Accelerator, Mission Ventures is led by three entrepreneurs from the UK food sector: Plum Baby co-founder Paddy Willis; John Stapleton, co-founder of New Covent Garden Soup and Little Dish; plus Nigel Parrott, co-founder of Ape Snacks.

As well as working with Better Nature, Mission Ventures is also set to support another UK SME, the London-based Spare Snacks, which uses waste fruit and veg to make its snacks. Spare Snacks’ stockists include UK online grocer Ocado and regional retailer Booths.

Willis confirmed to Just Food the Good Food Fund has not acquired an equity stake in Spare Snacks.

“Neither brand has yet pushed into major supermarkets, which is one of the things we are working on with them,” Willis, the CEO of Mission Ventures, said.

Among the businesses backed by the Good Food Fund are JimJam Spreads, a UK-based supplier of no-added-sugar spreads, and Naturelly, a UK business offering no-added-sugar fruit products.

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