Elin Roberts, a young entrepreneur from Cardiff set up Better Nature, an innovative tempeh brand, with three other co-founders.
Today, the company announced the closing of £430k in seed funding led by serial investor and technologist, Nicholas Owen Gunden and Founder of Capital V, Michiel van Deursen.
Since their inception in 2018, Better Nature have been developing a range of tempeh products in recognisable formats, producing one of the highest sources of plant-based protein. Tempeh, (pronounced tem-pay) is a fermented, plant-based food, typically made from soybeans. In January 2020, Better Nature launched their online shop with six products, including two soy-free variations made from protein and fibre-rich lupin beans. The success of their online shop was quickly followed by their retail expansion into Planet Organic, As Nature Intended and TheVeganKind Supermarket.
With this latest round of funding, Gunden and Van Deursen together with other investors, plant-based advocate Llyr Roberts, Michal Klar, Founder and CEO of FFN Ventures, Sasha Goodman, member of New Growth Council LLC, Willem Blom, Founder of The Plantbase Foundation, Tracy Chen representing Yangfu Wingtze Family Trust and Stephane Perrais, Founder of Born To Be Free Capital Ltd, will support Better Nature’s continued growth as an emerging leader in plant-based protein.
Michiel van Deursen, who oversaw the expansion of The Vegetarian Butcher across Europe founded Capital V, a mission-based investment firm aiming to transform the world by eliminating the need for animal products, comments,
“As an entrepreneur, and early investor in The Vegetarian Butcher, I know the space of alternative proteins very well, and I’ve seen its growth accelerate at an unprecedented rate in the past year.
Better Nature is very well positioned to play a huge part in the consumption of future foods. Their team is highly ambitious – I‘ve never met anyone who knows more about the world of tempeh. Their products are healthy, delicious and with few ingredients, are perfectly aligned with the new wishes of the contemporary consumer.
UK growth will be massive and I am looking forward to seeing them progress and roll out internationally.”
One of Better Nature's early investors, Llyr Roberts comments,
“As my family and I follow a plant based diet for health, ethical and environmental reasons, Better Nature’s mission to create nutritious, delicious and versatile plant-based sources of protein strongly resonate with us. We believe their products will promote and allow a plant-based diet to be a viable option for anyone, which is a vital step in changing our food system. The future of our planet relies on such change.”
Better Nature is co-founded by four foodies, Christopher Kong a biochemist turned entrepreneur, Indonesian-born food scientist Amadeus Driando Ahnan, product developer Fabio Rinaldo and Elin Roberts, a marketing strategist and advocate of plant-based living.
Christopher Kong, co-founder and CEO comments,
“At Better Nature, we are very much a mission-first business. Our aim is to create a happier, healthier, more sustainable planet for everyone by tackling the suffering caused by the animal protein industry.
It’s fantastic to have the support of such a strong suite of investors who each bring their own unique skill-sets and experiences. They have already proven pivotal to the success of Better Nature. Above all, our investors all share our values and are aligned with our mission, which is to show protein can be consumed the better way. A more sustainable way. A way that doesn’t compromise on taste, nutrition or the environment. Their capital, combined with their knowledge and network makes the future very exciting, enabling us to bring tempeh to the mainstream.”
This funding marks the second round of investment. It will be used to accelerate product development and progress towards making their products a complete source of nutrition; particularly research into increasing the vitamin B12 content, which is lacking in a vegan diet. Furthermore, the company want to continue to invest in marketing to make Better Nature the go-to brand for all-natural protein alternatives.
Elin Roberts, co-founder and Head of Marketing comments,
“Our current food system needs to change, particularly the way in which we consume our protein. It’s one of the main problems with our current food system. Around half of all UK consumers are seeking to add extra protein to their diets, however the current rate at which animal protein is cultivated cannot be sustained.
Tempeh contains every essential amino acid and is one of the highest sources of plant-based protein. Per 100g serving, it has the same protein content as grilled cod and grilled mackerel, double the protein content of crab, and almost double the protein content of eggs.
Together with our investors we have an incredible team of experts at Better Nature to ensure our presence within the UK market is established. We have some very exciting plans ahead.”