Got an early-stage startup developing plant-based consumer packaged goods? Purple Carrot may be able to help. The plant-based meal kit company just announced a new incubator program called The Garden Incubator that aims to invest in plant-based CPG companies and help them scale up.
Each selected participant gets $250,000 in seed round funding provided by VC firm Unovis Partners and its New Crop Capital fund. Unovis specifically invests in companies developing plant-, fungi-, and cell-based protein replacement foods, and counts AlephFarms, Beyond Meat, and Good Catch among its portfolio companies. Purple Carrot is also a member of the firm’s portfolio.
In addition to the seed funding, Purple Carrot will work with companies on improving and growing strategy, branding, financial modeling, data analytics, operations, and fulfillment areas of their businesses.
“The plant-based space is in the midst of a powerful transformation with a range of early-stage brands that are struggling for investment dollars, product-market fit, and distribution. With The Garden our goal is to accelerate the positive trajectory of qualifying brands, improve their focus and enable rapid and improved distribution in the U.S. and beyond,” said Purple Carrot founder and CEO, Andy Levitt said in the press release tied to the announcement.
Needless to say, the major criteria for joining The Garden Incubator is a focus on plant-based food products. According to the program’s website, the program looks for “early stage plant-based CPG companies with unique and scalable products.”
Unlike startup accelerators, which usually run for a set period of time, incubator programs typically have no set start and stop date, and take applications on an ongoing basis. As of right now, no deadline is affixed to The Garden Incubator’s program. Those interested in applying can simply fill out the application.
Purple Carrot was acquired by Tokyo-based Oisix, Japan’s largest meal kit and food delivery service, in May of 2019. For now, its focus on plant-based products remains somewhat unique in the world of accelerators and incubators, though given the popularity of plant-based foods, that will change soon.