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June 18, 2020

Mexico plant-based cheese firm Heartbest gets funding

Heartbest is one of the latest of four fledgling "food tech" companies that Switzerland-based investment firm Blue Horizon Ventures has backed.

By Dean Best

Heartbest, the fledgling, Mexican supplier of plant-based cheese and milk, has secured the backing of Switzerland-based venture-capital fund Blue Horizon Ventures.

Founded in 2017, Heartbest has secured listings at retailers in Mexico including Soriana, Chedraui and Costco. The company’s portfolio includes alternatives to parmesan cheese and manchego, as well as plant-based milks.

Blue Horizon Ventures, established in 2018 to back plant-based entrepreneurs, said it had led the Series A funding in Heartbest with an investment of US$2m.

The backing for Heartbest was one of four fresh investments formally unveiled today (18 June) by Blue Horizon Ventures.

On Tuesday, the fund confirmed it had acquired a “sizeable minority” of Mia & Ben, a UK producer of organic baby-food set up last year. Blue Horizon Ventures has invested EUR2.5m (US$2.8m) in Mia & Ben’s Series A round. 

Blue Horizon Ventures announced it has also backed Biomilq, a fledgling US firm producing cell-cultured breastmilk. Biomilq’s round of funding also included an investor consortium that features Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

The fourth company to receive backing from Blue Horizon Ventures is Cubiq Foods, a Spain-based firm that is producing what the fund calls “novel, sunflower-based fats” for the food processing industry. Cubiq Foods is using cellular agriculture to bring together cultivated fat and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as Omega-3. Blue Horizon Ventures has contributed half of Cubiq Foods’ EUR10m Series A financing.

In a statement, Blue Horizon Ventures said: “The closing of these investments in the midst of Covid-19 indicates that the movement towards a more sustainable world at large, and specifically in the food system, is only accelerating and confirms the need to act now.”

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