Plant-based food startup Neat Burger lands $18 million in Series B funding to expand its global reach
The growing concerns surrounding climate change and carbon emissions have spurred the need to transition from traditional animal-based meats to plant-based alternatives that are sustainable and more environmentally friendly.
With the world’s population projected to hit 10 billion people by 2050, there is a pressing need to find a sustainable approach to meet the growing demand for meat. It is against this backdrop that Neat Burger, the plant-based food startup backed by Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, created a plant-based burger that appeals to flexitarian and plant-based consumers alike.
Today, Neat Burger announced it has raised $18 million in Series B funding to expand its global reach. With operations currently across three territories, the company has set its sights on the United States with the opening last month of its first location in Nolita, New York.
The latest round, which took place in October, was led by B-Flexion, a private institutional investment firm founded by Ernesto Bertarelli, with backing from existing investors including Formula One Champion Lewis Hamilton, who is well known for his support for the environment, and Chimera Capital. The round is also supported by new investors including LionTree, New Theory Ventures, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and model and actress Sara Sampaio.
“I love how Neat Burger is on a mission to make plant-based eating more accessible to everyone. Our generation is paving the way and driving this change, with research showing once Gen-Z adopt a vegan or flexitarian diet, 70% stick with it. So, the key is getting people to try it and integrate it into their daily lives. First impressions count and Neat Burger’s approach, combining fun and sustainability, has the potential to change the world,” Chiara Bertarelli said in a statement.
Founded in 2019 by CEO Zack Bishti and Tommaso Chiabra, Neat Burger is one of the world’s fastest-growing plant-based food groups. It has rapidly gained a reputation for its pioneering approach ensuring its products appeal to flexitarian and plant-based consumers alike.
Neat Burger said its decision to launch its first US restaurant in New York was a strategic move to capitalize on the city’s vibrant foodie culture and health-conscious consumers. The restaurant’s sales in the initial month exceeded expectations, making it the top-performing establishment within the company, primarily driven by a high rate of repeat customers.
Zack Bishti, Co-Founder and CEO of Neat Burger, said: “We see New York as a tastemaker gateway to the US and by all metrics it has been our most successful launch to date. New Yorkers have good taste and strong opinions and we’ve been thrilled to see customers continually return. We’re at the heart of the growth in plant-based diets and our proximity to the customer voice sets us apart. In response to the growing demand for cleaner ingredients, we’ve incorporated healthier options into the New York menu, while continuing to serve our growing community food that’s as sustainable as it is delicious.”
Building on the success of the New York launch, Neat Burger plans to expand internationally, with upcoming restaurant openings in Italy and the Middle East. The franchise’s first venture in the Middle East was in Dubai in October 2022. Additionally, Neat Burger is actively expanding its business-to-business (B2B) sector by forming partnerships with hospitality groups and companies, aiding them in achieving their net-zero goals.