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Thomas Jonas

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas was most recently president of two business units of MeadWestvaco, overseeing 15 operating plants around the world with annual sales over $700 million. A seasoned global executive, he's held senior leadership positions at Rio Tinto, Alcan, and Pechiney. Thomas graduated from HEC Paris and also served as an officer in the French Air Force.

Dr. Mark Kozubal

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Kozubal is a leading expert in extremophile organisms—organisms that can survive in extreme conditions. He's discovered numerous new species and published extensively in the space, as well as collaborated with top research organizations including NASA, The National Science Foundation, the USDA, the EPA, and the Department of the Interior. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Geomicrobiology from Montana State University and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

Matthew Strongin

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew brings extensive experience in start-up commercialization, financing, and strategy to the company. Previously he was an investor at First Green Partners—an early-stage venture capital firm founded in partnership with global private equity firm Warburg Pincus—where he focused on investments in food/agriculture, energy, and chemicals. He began his career in investment banking and holds a degree in physics from Carleton College.

Karuna Rawal

Chief Marketing Officer

Karuna joined Nature's Fynd from Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, where she was President and Groupe Client Lead over a portfolio of their key global clients. She brings over two decades of experience in brand management & shopper marketing across the retail, healthcare, and consumer packaged goods categories. Karuna was also Lead Strategist on the internationally successful #LikeAGirl campaign from P&G brand Always, which won 14 Cannes Lions in 2015, as well as an Emmy for Outstanding Television Commercial.

Jim Millis

Chief Technology Officer

A veteran senior executive with expertise in molecular biology, chemical catalysis, and industrial biotechnology (specifically fermentation), Jim brings a thirty-year career as an entrepreneurial leader. Previously he's held management positions at Cargill's Industrial Bioproducts unit and Draths, a renewable chemicals company. Most recently, Jim served as CTO of BioAmber, overseeing the development, scale-up, and commercial implementation of a fermentation technology.

Press and Media

Press Release

Nature’s Fynd Begins Pro­duc­tion, Rais­es $80 Mil­lion Series B to Com­mer­cial­ize a New-to-the-World Protein

Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment and Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures co-lead invest­ment in alter­na­tive meat and dairy company 

CHICA­GO, March 24, 2020 — Nature’s Fynd, a food tech com­pa­ny pro­duc­ing a pro­tein from a microbe orig­i­nal­ly dis­cov­ered in the geot­her­mal springs of Yellowstone’s ancient vol­cano, has raised $80 mil­lion in new funding. 

The com­pa­ny was pre­vi­ous­ly named Sus­tain­able Bioproducts. 

Pro­duc­tion began this month at Nature’s Fynd’s new 35,000-square-foot man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty on the site of the his­toric Union Stock­yards in Chicago’s South Side. The com­pa­ny will com­mer­cial­ize food and bev­er­age prod­ucts across break­fast, lunch, din­ner, and snack occasions. 

Nature’s Fynd’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary fer­men­ta­tion tech­nol­o­gy grows pro­tein using a frac­tion of the land and water resources required by tra­di­tion­al agriculture. 

The prod­uct con­tains all 9 essen­tial amino acids, mak­ing it one of the rare non-ani­mal sources of com­plete pro­tein. It also includes dietary fiber, cal­ci­um, and vit­a­mins. It is very ver­sa­tile and can be made into alter­na­tive meat and dairy prod­ucts, as well as pro­tein drinks and powders. 

In these chal­leng­ing times, secur­ing food for our grow­ing pop­u­la­tion under the immense pres­sure of cli­mate change becomes even more urgent,” said CEO and co-founder Thomas Jonas. We must find new solu­tions that can both nour­ish peo­ple and nur­ture the plan­et. Our inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy was devel­oped by study­ing nature’s own solu­tions for adapt­ing — and ulti­mate­ly thriv­ing — in envi­ron­ments with lim­it­ed resources.” 

Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment LLP, the ded­i­cat­ed sus­tain­able invest­ment firm with $25 bil­lion assets under man­age­ment as of Dec. 31, 2019, and Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures, a $1 bil­lion fund that invests in com­pa­nies com­bat­ing cli­mate change, both led the round. 

Oth­er par­tic­i­pants include 1955 Cap­i­tal; Mousse Part­ners; ADM Ven­tures, the ven­ture arm of ADM and Danone Man­i­festo Ven­tures, the ven­ture arm of glob­al food and bev­er­age com­pa­ny Danone. 

Nature’s Fynd has a high­ly effi­cient solu­tion to help address the cli­mate cri­sis,” said Lila Pre­ston, co-head of the Growth Equi­ty strat­e­gy at Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment. We have tracked the team and tech­nol­o­gy for sev­er­al years and believe this is one of the most scal­able plat­forms to dri­ve true food sys­tem sustainability.” 

Added Carmichael Roberts of Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures: As glob­al demand for pro­tein increas­es, we urgent­ly need new solu­tions that meet our nutri­tion­al needs with­out fur­ther dam­ag­ing the environment.” 

The com­pa­ny, which employs 50 peo­ple across its Chica­go head­quar­ters and its Boze­man, Mon­tana, R&D cen­ter, emerged out of NASA sup­port­ed research into organ­isms that thrive in the extreme envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions of Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park’s geot­her­mal springs. Those springs are part of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. 

Nature’s Fynd plans to employ more than 100 peo­ple by the end of the year. The com­pa­ny chose Chica­go as its head­quar­ters because of its robust food indus­try, skilled work­force and trans­porta­tion infrastructure. 

About Nature’s Fynd
Nature’s Fynd is a Chica­go-based food tech com­pa­ny cre­at­ing ver­sa­tile alter­na­tive pro­teins to feed 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 tech­nol­o­gy pro­duces a com­plete pro­tein using only a frac­tion of the resources required by tra­di­tion­al agri­cul­ture. The com­pa­ny pre­vi­ous­ly raised $33 mil­lion in Series A fund­ing in 2018. For more infor­ma­tion vis­it www​.natures​fynd​.com.

About Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment
Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment LLP is ded­i­cat­ed to long-term invest­ing, inte­grat­ed sus­tain­abil­i­ty research, and client align­ment. It is an inde­pen­dent, pri­vate, own­er-man­aged part­ner­ship estab­lished in 2004 and head­quar­tered in Lon­don, with a US office in San Fran­cis­co. Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment LLP is autho­rized and reg­u­lat­ed in the Unit­ed King­dom by the Finan­cial Con­duct Author­i­ty. www​.gen​er​a​tionim​.com

About Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures
Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures (BEV) invests in com­pa­nies that lever­age inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies to help address cli­mate change. Backed by many of the world’s top busi­ness lead­ers, BEV has more than $1 bil­lion in com­mit­ted cap­i­tal to sup­port bold entre­pre­neurs build­ing com­pa­nies that can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce emis­sions from agri­cul­ture, build­ings, elec­tric­i­ty, man­u­fac­tur­ing, and trans­porta­tion. The fund was cre­at­ed in 2016 by the Break­through Ener­gy Coali­tion. Vis­it www.b‑t.energy to learn more.

Con­tact: press@​naturesfynd.​com