Umiami, a foodtech company specialising in the production of plant-based alternatives to meat, announced a new €32.5 million financing round, bringing the total amount secured to €100 million ($107 million) over three years. Led by the Sociétés de projets industriels (SPI) and French Tech Seed funds, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French state, and with the participation of Astanor Ventures, Redalpine, Newfund and VERSO Capital, this round positions Umiami as a major player in the sector.
It responds to three key strategic objectives: to continue the industrialisation of its revolutionary “umisation” technology, to accelerate its commercialisation in Europe and to support its expansion strategy in the United States with the appointment of John Hatto as CEO for North America.
Founded in 2020, this new round of €32.5 million brings its Series A to €59 million, and comes on top of non-dilutive financing of €43 million for the startup’s new Duppigheim plant (€34 million in debt and €9 million in grants and repayable advances under the France 2030 programme).
Tristan Maurel (CEO) and Martin Habfast (Export Director), co-founders of Umiami, said: “We are extremely proud of the tremendous success of our Series A, and the confidence that our investors and partners have placed in us. This round of funding will allow us to continue our mission to revolutionise the food industry by offering sustainable and tasty alternatives to meat products. We are also delighted to announce our expansion into the US, where we are determined to bring our innovation to American consumers. With our exceptional team and cutting-edge technology, we are poised to shape the future of food technology.”
Bpifrance, a long-standing partner through the French Tech Seed fund, is renewing its confidence in Umiami with the arrival of the SPI fund managed on behalf of the French government within the framework of France 2030. The SPI fund, recognised for its expertise in the long-term support of industrialisation projects, demonstrates the strength of Umiami’s development and industrialisation strategy. The company has also benefited from the renewed support of its historical investors, such as Astanor Ventures, Redalpine and Newfund.
Jean-Philippe Richard, Deputy Director of the SPI Fund, commented: “Participating in the industrialisation of a startup like Umiami is fully in line with the SPI Fund’s raison d’être. The company’s unique technology allows it to offer a higher quality range of horticultural netting. It is an emblematic example of our desire to contribute to the reindustrialisation of France and the international reputation of its agri-food know-how by developing innovative activities in the service of healthy, traceable and low-carbon food.”
Umiami has revolutionised the production of vegetable alternatives to meat and fish by developing a patented texturisation technology called “umisation”. It makes it possible to perfectly reproduce the taste and texture of fillets over 1.5 cm thick, while retaining the same nutritional qualities. This innovation is a world first, with simple recipes using less than 10 ingredients and no texturising agents or controversial additives.
Following the success of its pilot plant in the Paris region, Umiami aims to become the world leader in its sector with its new plant in Duppigheim. With a production capacity of 7,500 tonnes per production line, the food technology company aims to increase this figure to 20,000 tonnes per year in the medium term. Supported by the French government through the “France 2030” plan and by major investors, the company affirms its commitment to the reindustrialisation of the region and the creation of local jobs. At the same time, it is investing in innovation through its research and development centre, with plans to launch new products on the market.
Matthew Sade, Partner at Astanor Ventures, added: “Astanor Ventures is delighted to partner with BPI and continue to support Tristan, Martin and the entire Umiami team. They have developed a unique technology and product range that delights consumers and exceeds their expectations like no other product on the market. Umiami chicken is clearly a piece of the jigsaw that will help accelerate the global transition to a more sustainable food supply.”
Following its launch on the Swiss market in August 2023, Umiami continues to accelerate its growth by launching in new European countries where the plant-based market is more developed. The startup, active in both the foodservice and retail channels, has already expanded its presence in several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, where it has won over professionals with its first star product: the plant-based alternative to chicken fillet.
Umiami is already planning to announce new partnerships in early 2024. This expansion testifies to the startup’s firm commitment to play a leading role in the transition towards more sustainable food on an international scale.
By capitalising on the unique potential of its vegetable steak, capable of offering an unlimited variety of taste experiences (grilled, breaded, fried, marinated, in sauce, etc.), Umiami is launching a bid to conquer the United States, a market that is particularly ripe for vegetable alternatives to meat.