Atlast Food Co., a US plant-based start-up producing whole cut plant-based ‘meat’, is planning to expand after raising US$40m in a funding round.

The Series A funding round for Green Island, New York-based Atlast was led by Viking Global Investors with participants including venture-capital firm Stray Dog Capital and Footprint Coalition Ventures, an investment firm made up of rolling VC funds launched by actor Robert Downey Jr “to discover new technologies that can restore our environment”.

Also joining were Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of US organic meat business Applegate, Gary Hirschberg, former CEO of US organic yogurt business Stonyfield Farm and Walter Robb, co-CEO of US retailer Whole Foods Market. Other unnamed leaders and founders of CPG and retail businesses were also funders. Atlast declined to name those individuals.

Atlast, which uses the fungus mycelium as the base ingredient for its products, supplies other plant-based meat businesses worldwide and also provides a direct-to-consumer offering through its own brand MyEats.

It is also increasingly targeting the retail market. It launched its first product on store shelves in November and has ambitions to supply its plant-based bacon product MyBacon Strips at a commercial scale.

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By GlobalData

The company said the funding will support the further development and scaling of its technology and team.

Its president, Stephen Lomnes, said: "This investment will allow us to meet the incredible demand we've felt for our product. We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the US to provide consumers nationwide with a tastier alternative to their favourite animal proteins."

Atlast is partnering with mycelium technology specialist Ecovative to expand its current production capacity to increase the supply of its products to CPG, foodservice and grocery industry customers.

Lisa Feria, CEO at investor Stray Dog Capital, said: "Atlast is creating a new category of plant-based foods by offering whole cut options. Mycelium, Atlast's unique ingredient, is nutritious, versatile, and scalable."