The €2m pre seed round was led by PINC, Paulig’s venture arm alongside Rockstart, Döhler and Feast Ventures as co-investors.
Willicroft has said that consumers have become increasingly aware of food's environmental footprint but cheese is often overlooked but is the 3rd largest emitting product.
Founded as a dairy farm in the UK in 1957, Willicroft was relaunched as a plant-based cheese company in Amsterdam in 2018.
“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,” said Brad Vanstone, co-founder and chief executive of Willicroft.
“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.”
Marika King, head of PINC, the venture arm of Paulig, said: “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 said: “They have spent the last years understanding their consumers and their footprint, and the next phase will be to put those learnings to scale.” Willicroft is the first plant-based cheese company to become BCorp in Europe.