Press and Media
Nature’s Fynd Adds Food Industry Veterans and Raises $45 Million To Accelerate Its Go-To-Market Strategy
Leaders from ADM, Cargill, Bel Brands USA, and KIND Snacks join the Nature’s Fynd team with the mission to nourish people and nurture the planet.
CHICAGO, December 8, 2020 — Nature’s Fynd, a food-tech company producing a nutritional fungi protein called Fy™ from a microbe originally discovered in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone, continues to grow its team of veterans from the food industry. These leaders bring their combined 60+ years of experience at some of the world’s most notable food companies to help lead the launch of highly nutritious, delicious, and sustainable foods from Nature’s Fynd in 2021.
Baljit Singh Ghotra joins Nature’s Fynd as the SVP of Food Innovation from ADM. Dr. Ghotra, former Vice President of Food Research at ADM, spent the past 20+ years building R&D platforms to deliver an end-to-end food ingredient development program and overseeing manufacturing to accelerate innovation and drive growth. With a Ph.D. degree in grain science and technology plus his proven track record, Dr. Ghotra will lead his team at Nature’s Fynd to develop products and technologies inspired by nature.
Emilie Runac joins Nature’s Fynd as the Director of Manufacturing after 16 years at Bel Brands USA. Ms. Runac most recently managed a union plant of over 180 employees, manufacturing 25 million pounds of cheese per year. Before that, she led the successful North American launch of Mini Babybel Cheese & Crackers, earning the Best New Snack Pack in the 2019 Best Product Awards. At Nature’s Fynd, Ms. Runac will leverage her passion for innovation, continuous improvement, and sustainability to lead her team across the finish line with the first product launch at Nature’s Fynd.
Pat Dalugdug joins Nature’s Fynd as the Director of Sales from KIND Snacks. Mr. Dalugdug brings a breadth of sales experience across multiple innovators in the food industry, including KIND Snacks, Bulletproof, and Danone North America. His inquisitive thought and optimism align with the values of Nature’s Fynd, and Mr. Dalugdug’s deep expertise in innovative foods will enable him to build strong partnerships with key retailers across channels.
Tom Frey joins Nature’s Fynd as the Director of Project Engineering. Mr. Frey spent 16 years at Cargill, most recently as an Engineering Manager. He’s a renowned expert in leading successful design and implementations of fermentation technologies for food products. At Nature’s Fynd, Mr. Frey will use his extensive fermentation experience to continue scaling production of Fy for commercial launch.
In addition to hiring this exceptional group of new leaders, Nature’s Fynd raised $45 million of additional venture debt and equipment financing commitments from Oxford Finance and Trinity Capital. These partnerships provide Nature’s Fynd with the flexibility to accelerate go-to-market strategies, introduce more product offerings, and ensure optimal capital efficiency for capital expenditure purchases.
“Today, we’ve announced the hiring of several top food industry experts who will significantly advance the commercial success of our products. We’re at a pivotal moment where changing the way we all eat to take better care of our health and to care for our planet is crucial. Using Fy, our nutritional fungi protein, we’ve made foods that contain a complete protein and have an extremely low carbon footprint,” said Co-founder and CEO Thomas Jonas. “Now Nature’s Fynd needs to bring these delicious foods to market so we can all be part of the solution to climate change.”
About Nature’s Fynd
Nature’s Fynd is a Chicago-based food-tech company creating versatile alternative proteins to nourish the world’s growing population while nurturing the planet. Born out of research conducted for NASA on microbes in Yellowstone National Park, the company’s breakthrough technology produces Fy ™. Fy is a new-to-the-world, nutritional fungi protein that only uses a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. The company has raised over $150 million in equity and debt financing to date. For more information, visit www.naturesfynd.com.
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