The Netherlands is famous for many things – one of them is the top-quality cheese on offer. Based in Amsterdam, Willicroft is a cheese company taking the product plant-based, and it spun out of a UK-based dairy farm. Taking plant-based and planet-proof cheese to the European masses, in a way that is also beneficial to the farmers, Willicroft has just scored €2 million of fresh funding.
The investment was led by Rockstart, PINC and Döhler and Feast Ventures as co-investors.
Consumers have become increasingly aware of food’s environmental footprint but the emissions of cheese are often overlooked. After beef and lamb, cheese is the 3rd largest emitting product. Willicroft, an Amsterdam based alternative cheese startup, is addressing this by producing planet-proof, plant-based alternatives that are just as tasty. Pizza will taste all that bit better knowing the planet is healthier for our choice of cheese.
With the plant-based cheese market growing at a fast pace, the foodtech startup is joining the plant-based whirlwind of change at a pivotal time.
Brad Vanstone, Co-Founder and CEO, Willicroft, explained: “Our new bean-based range produces up to 5 times less CO2 than the dairy alternatives it’s replacing. We need holistic solutions to tackle major changes in our food system – having recently secured B Corp status, we believe we’re on track to address these problems at their root cause.”
Looking to the future, Brad added: “With this new raise locked in we’ll be bringing our delicious, beautifully branded range of PBC’s to 3 new markets: the UK, Germany and the Nordics, bringing in senior hires and continuing on our quest to become the world’s first net positive plant-based cheese company. Our new investor group can help open up a number of new markets whilst also fast-tracking our products’ continued evolution.”
Foodtech is big news in Europe at the moment and the plant-based revolution is undoubtedly here to stay – monumentally shaping Europe’s culinary future. What makes Willicroft stand out is that it is rooted in the culture and practice of dairy farming – it is therefore offering a sustainable transition for consumers and producers alike.
Marika King, Head of PINC, the venture arm of Paulig, added: “Willicroft is by far the tastiest plant-based cheese range we have come across. It has a more nutritious and sustainable ingredient list than most alternatives available today and a high-powered team with traction in Europe, so we could not be more excited to support this venture.”
Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart added: “Willicroft is taking plant-based dairy alternatives to the next level. Alongside making delicious products (I’ve tasted several, I recommend them!), they are helping farmers to transition to sustainable production by enabling a local supply chain without the need for monocropping or highly processed ingredients. They have spent the last years understanding their consumers and their footprint, and the next phase will be to put those learnings to scale.”
The fresh funding will be used to fuel the food innovators’ growth into new markets such as the UK, Germany and the Nordics.