North Carolina-based vegan company Improved Nature raised a $3 million investment round led by firm Concentric Capital this month. In 2015, Improved Nature was founded in part by scientist Richard “Rody” Hawkins, the inventor of Lunchables. The company uses a proprietary process to create plant-based meat products—such as Pork-Free Cutlets, Beef-Free Country-Fried Steak, and BBQ Boneless Chicken-Free Wings—from soy, which it distributes through food-service networks. “The company was formed to bring simple ingredient plant-based protein products to the commercial markets to meet the global demand for plant-based proteins,” Improved Nature CFO David Swintosky told AgFunderNews. “The company’s products are shelf-stable, single-ingredient protein concentrate products that when activated—boiled in water like pasta—perform like animal proteins in bite, texture, and taste.” Improved Nature will use the new capital to grow its management team and increase the marketing efforts of its plant-based products which are currently being used in meals in school districts across California, including the Los Angeles Unified School District which introduced a vegan school lunch pilot program at 35 schools in January.
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