Hollywood celebrities-cum-investors hunger for plant food start-ups, but does it matter?

There is no shortage of celebrities who besides the day-job, are turning green and punting big on plant food.

Madonna has invested in Vita Coco, a coconut water business, Leonardo DiCapriccio owns a stake in Impossible Foods (and is a brand ambassador) and Serena Williams has gone into Baby food.

A few months ago news of Oprah Winfrey’s investment in Oatly, which has recently been valued at $10b, attracted headline attention.

This week I learnt that Lewis Hamilton of F1 and Netflix fame owns a slice of Neat Burger, a London based plant food burger franchise.

Neat Burger has just 5 venues with plans for 20 dark kitchens doing delivery only.  

Photo: Plant Based News

According to UK companies House filings Neat Burger is still is its infancy. It produced a loss of £220,000 in 2020 and had assets of just over £1 million. 

Yet Softbank has joined the party and valued the business at over $70m (£50 million) according to the FT.

Hamilton is a vegan and his early backing of the chain continues to reverberate. 

“I can’t wait for the (Neat Burger) team to expand internationally”

Lewis Hamilton

Is a celebrity investor a critical success factor for a start-up? Perhaps not regarding management but it sure helps to persuade others to dive in.

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