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January 5, 2022updated 21 Jan 2022 2:00pm

Katjes invests in alt-dairy start-up Unmilk

Unmilk, based in Hamburg, produces plant-based milk alternatives based on oat and pea protein.

German food major Katjes Group has invested in local alt-dairy start-up Unmilk through its venture-capital arm Katjesgreenfood.

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Founded in 2020, Unmilk, based in Hamburg, produces plant-based milk alternatives based on oat and pea protein. Its products – which include protein oat shakes, powdered oat drinks and oat-based alternatives to liquid milk – are available nationwide at grocers including Rewe and the coffee chain Starbucks.

The deal is Katjesgreenfood’s second in a matter of weeks. In mid-December, it backed local vegan sauces start-up Ohso Lecker.

Commenting on the Unmulk deal, Katjesgreenfood chief marketing officer Dr. Jesko Thron said: “We want to redefine an important part of the food industry for [Unmilk founder] Jennifer Schäfer and her team. We would like to help meet the enormous demand and to enable as many people as possible to have a cow’s milk-free diet.”

Schäfer said: “In order to make our successful products available to the general public, Katjesgreenfood is, with its enormous network and know-how, a perfect partner for us.”

Katjesgreenfood declined to reveal the amount it has invested in Unmilk or the size of the stake it now holds in the business when asked by Just Food.

Other investments made by Katjesgreenfood include vegan and plant-based cheese business Veganz, porridge maker Haferkater and ice-cream producer Pink Albatross. VegDog, a manufacturer of vegan pet food, Outstanding Foods, the owner of the plant-based snack brand PigOut, and Berlin-based ‘superfood’ start-up The Rainforest Company, also feature.

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Disruptive start-ups to watch out for

2021 was a record-breaking year, with more businesses breaking into the billion-dollar club. Many start-ups have achieved or retained the unicorn status by the end of the year to reflect nearly a fivefold growth from that in 2020. This boom can be linked to a financing frenzy spurred by the quick adoption of technology and innovative solutions by start-ups gaining traction in response to the pandemic. However, the start-up ecosystem is now facing turbulent times for fundraising as investors seek long-term business strategies, valuations, and a route to profitability amid uncertain market circumstances. Nevertheless, 2022 has the potential to carry forward the momentum with multiple entities having a fair chance of being in the right place when aided by the right technologies. GlobalData leverages the power of alternative data to examine the health of start-ups across multiple dimensions including the quality of their innovations, market presence, and the funding they can attract. This helps our clients to analyze the disruptive potential of start-ups for early alliances, investments, and acquisition prospects to develop future-proof strategic roadmaps for a competitive advantage. Read our report and gather insights on the following topics:
  • Recent Unicorn trends
  • Unicorns in 2022
  • Future Unicorns
  • Start-ups to watch out for
Start-up ecosystem outlook by top geographies
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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