Just a year and a half after Australian alternative meat startup Fable Food Co. brought their flagship meaty pulled mushroom product to market, the company has raised $6.5 million (US$4.8 million) in a seed funding round to expand its production and manufacturing capabilities.
Led by Australian-based VC Blackbird Ventures, a venture capital firm that backed online design and publishing unicorn Canva at their seed stage as well as alt protein pioneer Sunfed Meats, the funding will enable Fable to increase research and development and fund growth plans in Australia and accelerate the launch of its mushroom-based meat products to international markets, including the United States.
Fable’s seed round attracted the interest of a number of plant-based meat enthusiasts including Silicon Valley’s AgFunder, sustainable tech fund Aera VC, APAC alt protein-focused Better Bite Ventures, Singapore’s Choon Marketing Pte Ltd and Warren Hogarth, a former partner Sequoia Capital.
Within its first 12 months in operation, Fable successfully secured contracts with supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles and specialty grocery chain Harris Farm Markets. Its products are also found in restaurant menus across Australia, Singapore, and the UK, and in meal delivery services Marley Spoon and Dinnerly.
Founded by a trio of food industry and business veterans including fine dining chef turned chemical engineer and mycologist Jim Fuller, Michael Fox (former CEO of Shoes of Prey), and organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin, Fable is on a mission to help end industrial animal agriculture and encourage consumers to make healthier and more sustainable food choices. The brand is also endorsed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, who features the minimally processed plant-based pattie on the menus of his Michelin Star restaurants.
“We’re thrilled to have partners dedicated to creating a more sustainable future, and who believe in our mission to help people reduce their meat consumption and ultimately end industrial animal agriculture,” said Michael Fox, Co-founder and CEO of Fable.
“Thanks to the backing and support of Blackbird Ventures, AgFunder and all of our investors, we will be able to bring our delicious, clean, and responsibly crafted meaty mushroom products to more people around the world.”
This news comes on the heels of the company’s partnership with Australian burger chain Grill’d which sees its mushroom burger patties featured in three plant-based burgers in 136 restaurants across the country, as well as the creation of a limited edition burger created by Heston Blumenthal.
According to Barclays, plant-based meats are forecast to command 10% of the US$1.4 trillion global meat market by 2029 as a growing number of flexitarian consumers increasingly choose meat alternatives for health and environmental reasons.
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All images supplied by Fable Food Co.