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Khaled Bin Alwaleed's KBW Ventures Joins Series A Round For American Foodtech Startup Black Sheep Farms Founded in 2019, Black Sheep Foods is in "in the business of giving consumers access to the most delicious meat variety, using plants instead of animals," according to co-founder and CEO Sunny Kumar.

By Aby Sam Thomas

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KBW Ventures
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud

KBW Ventures, the investment firm founded by Saudi Arabia's Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, has been announced as one of the investors backing the US$12.3 million Series A round raised by San Francisco-based foodtech startup Black Sheep Foods.

Founded in 2019, Black Sheep Foods is in "in the business of giving consumers access to the most delicious meat variety, using plants instead of animals," according to co-founder and CEO Sunny Kumar.

Black Sheep Foods' patent-pending flavor technology allows the company to isolate the flavor molecules that give any animal meat its distinctive flavor, identify the same molecules in plants, and then reconstruct the depth of meat flavor -including mouthfeel and richness- using only plants.

"Our minds associate meat with a shape, a texture, and a flavor," said Kumar, in a statement. "While texture has been the focus of meat innovation, flavor is a white space. Our debut lamb made from plants has more depth of flavor, richness, and appetizing aromatics than other meats, full stop."

Black Sheep Foods co-founders Sunny Kumar and Ismael Montanez. Image courtesy Black Sheep Foods.

Besides KBW Ventures, Black Sheep Foods' Series A round has been backed by New York headquartered Unovis, as well as Bessemer Ventures Partners and AgFunder, both of which are based out of San Francisco.

Commenting on KBW Ventures' investment in Black Sheep Foods, Prince Khaled described its first product -lamb made from plants- as having been "shockingly good," and with taste being a vital aspect of customer adoption, he believes the startup will be able to rule the roost when it comes to the plant-based meat market.

"KBW Ventures is backing Black Sheep Foods with our eyes on the massive addressable market size of sheep and the other heritage meats that the company has in the pipeline," Prince Khaled told Entrepreneur Middle East. "The company's technology, allowing for an amplified flavor profile, excellent texture, and good nutritional approach, makes for a winning platform. We see Black Sheep Foods blazing a new trail for a needed product profile that has thus far gone unaddressed."

KBW Ventures' Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud with Black Sheep Foods' Sunny Kumar. Image courtesy KBW Ventures.

While the new Series A round is aimed at bringing Black Sheep Foods' lamb made from plants to restaurants across the United States, the new infusion of funds brings the total amount of investment the startup has raised since its launch to be $18.05 million.

Related: "A Solid Value Proposition": Khaled Bin Alwaleed Takes Stake In Eclipse Foods' US$40 Million Series B Round

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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