Home » French foodtech UMIAMI raises €32.5 million

French foodtech UMIAMI raises €32.5 million

by Tech Reporter
29th Jan 24 12:36 pm

Umiami, the French foodtech company specialisedin plant-based meat alternatives, has announced a new €32.5M ($34.7M)financing round, bringing the total amount securedto €100M ($107M)in three years.

The deal was led by SPI (“Sociétés de Projets Industriels”) fundand French Tech Seed, both managed by Bpifrance(“Banque Publique d’Investissement”)for the French government, with participation fromAstanorVentures, Redalpine, Newfundand VERSO Capital. This funding round positions Umiami as a major player in the sector.

It meets three key objectives: boost industrialisation of its cutting-edge “umisation” technology, speed up distribution in Europe and support its expansion in the US with the appointment of John Hatto as Managing Director for North America.

Renewed trust from French and international investors

Since its creation three years ago, Umiami has securedmore than €100M ($107M)in financing, with strong support fromwell-known investors and banks as well as public authorities.

This new €32.5M ($34.7M)round, taking its Series A to €59M ($62.8M), is in addition to the €43M ($45.8M) in non-dilutive financing, intended for the launch of its new factoryin Alsace,(€34M ($36.2M) in debt, and €9M ($9.6M) in subsidies and repayable advances as part of”France 2030″ economic plan.

Bpifrance, a long-standing partner through the French Tech Seed fund, is renewing its support forUmiami with the arrivalof the SPI fund, managed on behalf of the French government as part of “France 2030” economic plan.

The SPI fundhasa firm track record in providing long-term support for industrialisation projects. Its backing is a strong endorsement of Umiami’s development strategy. Historic investors Astanor Ventures, Redalpineand Newfund also renewed their support.

Industrialisation and know-how

Umiami has revolutionised the production of plant-based meat withitsvery own texturising technology called ‘umisation’. It perfectlymimicsthe taste and texture of meat and fish, with equivalentnutritionalvalue. This innovation is the first of its kind in the world, containingunder 10 ingredients, and free of texturising agents or controversial additives.

Following the success of an industrial pilot in the Paris region, Umiami aims to become the world leader in plant-based meat alternativeswith the launch of its new factoryinAlsace.Withcapacity of 7,500 tonsper production line, the companyis preparing to grow its output to 20,000 tonsover time. Supported by the government”France 2030″ economic plan, the BPI (SPI fund) and other investors,Umiami is establishing itself as a pillar of the region’s reindustrialization andlocaljob creation.At the same time, the company is investing in innovation through its R&D centre, with plans for morenew products.Strictly confidential – Internal

Accelerated distributionin Europe

Following itsSwiss launch in August 2023, Umiami’s expansioncontinues to progress and is focused onEurope’s most established plant-based markets.The start-up, which is active in both restaurant and retail sectors, has already expanded its presence in the foodservice sector in several European countries, including Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, where it has won over professionals with its plant-based chicken fillet.

Umiami also plans to announce new partnerships in early 2024. This expansion proves its commitment to playing a lead role in the transition to more sustainable food globally.

Breaking into the US

Capitalising on the potential of its unique plant-based chicken fillet,which can be presented in a variety of ways including grilled, breaded, fried, marinatedand sauced, Umiami is setting out to conquer the United States, a more developedmarket for plant-based meat alternatives.

To spearhead thisinitiative, the start-up has recruited John Hatto, a seasoned FMCGexecutive as its new US Managing Director. His expertise and leadership will guide the company through this new development phase. John Hatto has over 30 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry, having held a number of senior positions at Lamb Weston, including Vice President of Foodservice Sales, and at PepsiCo, where he was Vice President of Business Strategy.

Tristan Maurel(CEO) and Martin Habfast(Export Director), co-founders of Umiami, said:”We are extremely proud of the huge success of our Series A, and of the confidence that our investors and partners have placed in us. This round of funding will enable us to continue our mission to revolutionise the food industry by offering sustainable and tasty alternatives to meat-based products. We are also delighted to announce our expansion into the US, where we are determined to bring our innovation to American consumers. With our exceptional team and cutting-edge technology, we’re ready to shape the future of foodtech”.

Jean-PhilippeRichard, Deputy Director of the SPI fund, comments: “Playing a part in the industrialisation of a start-up like Umiami is fully in line with the SPI fund’s raison d’être. Thanks to its unique technology, Umiami is offering an upmarket range of plant-based fillets.It enables us to boostreindustrialisationin France while enhancingthe country’sreputation for agri-food expertiseinternationally through the development of cutting-edgeinitiativesserving healthy, traceable food with a low carbon footprint”.

Matthew Sade, Venture Partner at Astanor Ventures:“Astanor Ventures isextremelypleased to partner with BPI and to continue our support of Tristan, Martin, and the entire Umiami team. They have developed a unique technology and product linethat delights consumers and exceeds their expectationsinaway that no other product on the market does. Umiami’s chicken is clearly one piece of the puzzle to speeding the globaltransition to a more sustainable food supply.”

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