Tyson Foods Launches $150M VC Fund for Food Startups

December 5, 2016

2 Min Read
Tyson Foods Launches $150M VC Fund for Food Startups
Tyson Foods recently launched Tyson Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund to invest in food startups. Image courtesy of Tyson Foods

A new, $150 million venture capital fund dubbed Tyson New Ventures LLC was launched by Tyson Foods to support startups in the food industry, the food company announced Monday.  

The fund will support startups that are commercializing alterative proteins, provide solutions to combat food security issues, and companies that tap into the “internet of food” and promote precise and produce resources application, safety and consumer empowerment. A press release from Tyson stated that the company’s first investment is with Beyond Meat, a producer of plant-based protein products that Tyson holds a 5% ownership stake in.

“We intend to collaborate with promising food entrepreneurs who are pioneering new products and technology that are making meaningful changes and improvement to food systems,” said Monica McGurk, executive vice president of strategy and new ventures and president of food service at Tyson, in a statement. “We believe we can accelerate the growth of startups through our capabilities in such areas as food and culinary research and development, sourcing, insights, customer relationships and distribution. By doing so, we hope to materially advance the state of the U.S. and global food system.”

Tyson Ventures will be headquartered in Chicago. Mary Kay James, who previously worked as managing director of DuPont Ventures, will head up the new entity as vice president and general manager.

“This fund is about broadening our exposure to innovative, new forms of protein and ways of producing food, while remaining focused on our core fresh meats, poultry, and prepared foods businesses, which are also experiencing tremendous consumer demand and growth,” said McGurk.

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