In 2020, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. plans to invest $1 billion in emerging Latin American companies, with a portion of the funding aimed at businesses using artificial intelligence to create plant-based foods. “We are focused on investing in companies that could achieve long-term profitability,” Andres Freire, managing partner of SoftBank’s Southern Cone region said. While Softbank has yet to announce which companies it will sink its capital into, Fiere revealed that the firm is “paying special attention” to two companies in Brazil, one in Peru, and one in Chile. One startup that seems to fit the bill is Chile’s The Not Company (NotCo), which uses its artificial intelligence-powered platform (nicknamed “Giuseppe”) to identify plant-based proteins that mimic animal products. In March, NotCo raised $30 million from several investors, including from firms controlled by Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos, to expand the distribution of its vegan NotMayo and develop new product lines.
Photo Credit: The Not Company