I’m extremely excited about my latest investment in Patch Organics, the first ever pumpkin seed milk company. Not only are they allergen free (many people are allergic to soy and nuts), but they are environmentally friendly and taste good enough to drink plain.
Raising as convertible debt: $750K
Pro Rate Rights: Included
The first pumpkin milk on the market, Patch Organics fits my investment thesis by being plant based, sustainable for the environment and asymmetric (I love that they’re in seed with a a desired product). Patch milk results in 1/4 and 1/8 of the carbon emissions of dairy and almond milk respectively, has a low impact on land damage and requires less water than most other brands. It's also gluten-free, vegan, certified USDA organic, Non-GMO and Kosher.
Patch Organics is tapping into a wildly growing niche. In the U.S. alone, the plant based milk market is 2.5 billion, as milk alternatives already account for 13% of the market. This trend will only continue throughout the next decade. Shockingly, experts
believe that by 2030, we will see a 90% reduction in the U.S. dairy market, with all of that consumption going into plant based alternatives.
With Patch, I’m pulling out a surfboard, and riding the wide.
Oh, and by the way, Oatly IPO’d at 10B in May. That's 4,000 times what Patch Organics is currently worth.
A great product is only half the battle. What truly sets great brands apart is brilliant marketing. Patch Organics has a great vision here, with their sales trifecta. They plan on going directly to consumer (through Amazon, Thrive, etc.), be in retail (Whole Foods, organic stores) and, my personal favorite, food services by being a fancy milk choice that baristas use to make your daily coffee (Coffee Nero, eclectic coffee bars, etc.).
It’s the retail sector which I’m most excited about. Oatly had wild success with this strategy. I first discovered them in Berlin back in 2018, when the barista proposed I enjoy my matcha latte with oat milk. I had never tried it, so I said, ‘why not?’
Naturally, this led me to ask about the brand. Sure enough, soon after that I found them in grocery stores. These natural touch points are how consumers switch from one milk to another. It's a big commitment to buy a gallon of milk from an unknown brand at Whole Foods (even if they have great packaging), but most will try a new product in their daily coffee. If they like it, they’ll then take that next step and buy in bulk. From there, you have a new customer with a recurring subscription.
The Founder, Patricia Trongrone, has 10 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, and is heavily involved in the health and wellness space (she earned a degree in Integrative Nutrition). She wisely appointed Gil Kernan as CEO, whose had successful exits and is an expert in consumer packaged goods commercialization and distribution. Big Idea Ventures, led by Andrew D Ive, are
one of the most respected VC funds in the alternative protein space, and they spearheaded the seed round. I’m flattered to be investing alongside some of my mentors.
I will continue to detail my investments as they come along. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates.