Hungry to top Beyond Meatís smash IPO, new plant-based food SPAC forms in Mass.


By Allison DeAngelis, Boston Business Journal

Oct 16, 2020


Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat became one of 2019ís hottest IPOs when it raised $240 million. Now, a new blank-check company based in Weston hopes to shoot past that figure and bring another plant-based food company public.


Paperwork was filed with the SEC this week for a new special purpose acquisition company named Natural Order Acquisition Corp. The plans are to raise some $287.5 million and acquire another company specializing in plant-based foods or protein alternatives, thereby bringing it public.


The Weston, Mass. company is the 14th Massachusetts-based SPAC to launch this year, as the creation of these types of shell companies has proliferated in 2020 nationally as well as in the Bay State.


The venture is being led by Paresh Patel, founder of small India- and Massachusetts-based firm Sandstone Capital LLC, and Italian entrepreneur Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. Castiglioni is best known as the CEO of investment firm NKGB Strategic Advisory, the fine art collectors network Opteres and the organic winery Querciabella. He is also a proponent of vegan eating and was one of the first investors in Beyond Meat.


Protein alternatives are a booming market. Venture capitalists invested more than $824 million in these companies last year, followed by more than $930 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Good Food Institute.


Less than 20 miles from Natural Orderís executive offices, a Seaport company spun out of life sciences unicorn Ginkgo Bioworks is creating meat substitutes using fermentation and other approaches. The startup, Motif FoodWorks, recently announced plans to begin production of its first commercial product, an ingredient to improve the flavor of beef substitutes.


In the same building, small firm Kerafast LLC is working with the aforementioned Good Food Institute to license cells and other components of meat substitutes...


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