PLANETARIANS to Launch WeFunder Crowd-Investing Campaign

San Francisco, CA, September 01, 2021 --( Plant-based ingredient startup PLANETARIANS has completed scale-up trials of zero-emission and zero-waste technology at Clextral pilot facility, and developed and tested prototypes from its single-ingredient meat to launch a crowd-investing campaign at WeFunder to scale operations.

To combat climate change, PLANETARIANS makes alternative meat better by combining the power of both worlds: plant-based proteins and fermentation. PLANETARIANS patented technology allows processing multiple types of plant-based protein sources into alternative meat by fermentation without needing any additional ingredients.

As featured by Good Food Institute in the Alt Meat Industry Report, the resulting product has a meaty texture, umami flavor and a lower cost than traditional meat and other meat alternatives. PLANETARIANS is raising funds to launch a manufacturing facility and sell alternative meat on par with beef.

“My stomach rejects alternative meat,” says Anastasia Tkacheva, PLANETARIANS’ Co-Founder. “Looking around we identified that it’s not specific to me. Many healthy folks are willing to eat plant-based food but concerned about too long ingredient lists of it.”

“PLANETARIANS’ technology uses fermentation to convert the carbohydrates in the plants into additional protein without extraction. Simultaneously fermentation clears the aftertaste, adds BBQ flavor and color without using chemicals, which influence digestion,” says Aleh Manchuliantsau, PLANETARIANS’ Founder & CEO. “Consumers feel good seeing a single ingredient on the label, it’s clean, some say like organic food.”

Team-built working prototypes and a product roadmap showcasing applications across multiple categories:

- Elastic jerky without gluten
- BBQ tasting and colored skewers without extra flavors and colors
- Juicy burgers without methylcellulose.

“Clean flavor is easy to tweak in applications and lends itself to a number of outstanding market share products,” says Max Barnthouse, PLANETARIANS’ Chef. “It adapts incredibly well to flavors and is easily coaxed into a number of shapes and textures. It retains moisture well and offers a juicy end product. “Cannot wait to see more applications, such as algae-based pulled pork, sunflower steaks, pea-based bars once technology is applied to many other crops.”

“The texture is delicious. It actually tastes better than I thought it would taste,” said Julie Smith, holistic nutrition chef.

Running consecutive samplings in July through August 2021, the team saw the evidence that the solution solves key pain points - current Net Promoter Score is 8.28 after sampling to over 100 people. Team has evidence that customers will pay the target price - the company sold the first batch of alternative meat to San Francisco restaurants. In parallel, several large companies are evaluating samples, contributing to our $2M pipeline of future orders.

“It took us four years to reach this point... since 2017, when PLANETARIANS completed feasibility tests at the University of Minnesota and received first investment from TechStars Accelerator,” says James Valenti-Jordan, company capital engineer. “Supported by Food-X, Arch Grants, The Yield Lab and backed by notable investors Brad Feld, Barilla, SOSV, we had to learn how the alternative meat market operates, understand the value chain and cost structures in the industry, and develop strong industry contacts.”

“Now we feel ready to move further,” says Manchuliantsau. “And I’m so happy to see an opportunity to extend the ability to invest along with existing investors to the crowd due to WeFunder platform - everyone who has $100 may become an investor.”

Crowd-investing campaign lead investor Form & Fiction Ventures:
“We invested in PLANETARIANS because of their ambition to revolutionize the plant-based meat alternatives industry. After several years of research and development, the color, texture, and most importantly flavor achieved from their zero-waste, single-ingredient process is outstanding. We are incredibly impressed with the tastes and textures, from skewers to curries to salads, that Aleh and his team have perfected.”

Shawn Broderick, SOSV, three-times investor:
"SOSV has been working with Aleh for a couple of years now as PLANETARIANS has engaged in a number of impressive R&D exercises. Aleh and his team have been steadfast, committed, resourceful and smart. I'm impressed with where the company is at and look forward to continuing to invest in them!"

Lisa Gansky, two-times investor:
"I have worked alongside more than 50 entrepreneurs and founders over 20+ years and Aleh stands out as one of the gems! He is an unusual combination of creative, tenacious, data-driven, bold, customer-focused and immensely resilient. Plant-based foods are increasing in demand as we seek planet and personal health. PLANETARIANS’ products and vision are spot on and I’ve witnessed Aleh and the team attract world-class food producers as customers. The timing is right for PLANETARIANS to take new protein products to market and Aleh’s energy and vision are a winning match for the opportunity! I’ll be investing again."

PLANETARIANS is a food tech company, developing sustainable ingredients. First PLANETARIANS’ product – sunflower protein – helps plant-based companies to offer allergen-free (unlike soy) and affordable (unlike pea) solutions to the market. How we do it? Instead of protein extraction that leaves a lot of nutrients behind – we use all inherent ingredients. PLANETARIANS’ process was tested at the University of Minnesota, scalability tests resulted in investment from manufacturing partner Cereal Docks. PLANETARIANS ingredients won AgFunder Innovation Award 2019 and scored investments from Barilla’s venture arm Blue1877 and Amadori.

PLANETARIANS’ crowd-investing campaign is available at WeFunder:
Aleh Manchuliantsau