In the future, we'll all work for pea milk companies
In the classic fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack trades his family’s dairy cow for a bunch of magic beans. Meanwhile, if he happened to have some yellow peas instead, he might have been able to score a cool $110 million. That’s how much money investors have poured into Ripple Foods, a two-year-old startup that’s hopping to make a splash with plant-based milk made from common yellow peas.
According to Bloomberg, Ripple Foods recently completed a fresh round of funding, raising $65 million from a pool of investors that included household names like Goldman Sachs and a firm started by the founder of OpenTable. These investments more than doubled the money previously raised by the company—which also came from some big names like Google—pushing investment in the brand into the nine-figure territory. “We are proud to invest in a company that has one of the fastest-growing plant-based product lines,” Kathy Elsesser, Goldman Sach’s global chair of consumer retail and health-care groups told the business site.
Apparently, what makes Ripple Food’s pea milk unique is its proprietary process for extracting what the company calls “Ripptein,” billed as “the purest plant protein on earth.” “Ripple uses a patent-pending method to harvest ultra-clean protein from peas, removing the impurities that give other plant-based milks their beany flavor and chalky texture,” the company says on its website. “The result is: the purest, cleanest tasting plant-based milk anywhere in the world with a smooth, rich, and creamy texture.”
For now, Ripple Food’s dairy-free line of products includes five varieties of 48-ounce bottles of pea milk, three varieties of eight-ounce boxes of pea milk for kids (get ‘em started early!), two varieties of pea milk-based half and half, and five varieties of a Greek yogurt alternative. Though Ripple Foods might not be a household name yet itself, some of the stores you can find their products in are: both Whole Foods and Target carry the brand.
As an noteworthy aside, Bloomberg also reports that Ripple Food’s two founders—Neil Renninger and Adam Lowry—like to sell investors on their “complimentary backgrounds.” Lowry is a marketing guru who previously cofounded a natural cleaning-product brand called Method Products. Renninger, on the other hand, is a scientist who founded a renewable products company called Amyris, but was previously a member of the MIT Blackjack Team immortalized in the book Bringing Down the House and the film 21. Investing in a guy who used to be a professional blackjack player sounds like a hell of an investment.