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SFO startup making eggs obsolete raises cash from Li Ka Shing

18 Feb

Josh Tetrick HeadshotHampton Creek, a San Francisco-based startup developing plant-based replacements for eggs, has raised its biggest round of funding yet.

Today, the company announced that it is taking $23 million in a series B round led by Li Ka-Shing’s Horizon Ventures. Li is Asia’s richest man, with a net worth of $29.2 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, told us he’s thrilled to have Li as an investor. There were plenty of suitors, but Tetrick was attracted to Li because of his connections in Asia.

“Money matters, but we’ll have a platform to take what we’ve done and extend it out,” says Tetrick. He notes that “38% of egg production is in China. It’s a massive market, growing every day. Horizons has experience and connections into the Asian environment.”

Hampton Creek makes egg-replacement products based on plants. It sells to consumers and enterprises.

Tetrick says Hampton Creek is working with two Fortune 500 companies to take eggs out of baked goods. It has deals with four other Fortune 500 companies to replace traditional mayonnaise with Hampton Creek’s eggless mayo.

Hampton Creek’s plant-based mayonnaise tastes pretty much the same, if not better than traditional mayo. (See our blind taste test video here.) Some Whole Foods are using it in chicken salad instead of mayo. And some fast food chains will start using Hampton Creek mayo on sandwiches.

“Our cost structure is our advantage,” says Tetrick. “We’re 48% more cost effective. The cost of eggs comes from feeding chickens. Unless egg makers are willing to lose money, they don’t have a structure to compete with us. Unless they come up with a way to not feed the chickens.”

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Investments

 

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