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Food and drink startup accelerator Mission Ventures has taken on two further brands in its Good Food Fund initiative.

Better Nature and Spare Snacks join the 12-month programme and will receive business support to assist their growth ambitions.

Better Nature, a meat-free brand launched in 2020 specialising in products made from tempeh, will also receive equity funding of £350,000 from the £1.8m fund, backed by early stage VC firm Ascension Ventures.

It comes after the business hit a £1.4m crowdfunding target within three hours of the private launch of the campaign in March.

Better Nature is using the cash to expand distribution into supermarkets and to support the development of new products, including a newly launched extension to its plant-based range now available in Amazon and The Vegan Kind.

Spare Snacks produces healthier crisps using fruit & veg going to waste, including its new Scrapples kids’ range.

Mission Ventures, alongside partners Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, launched the Good Food Fund in 2020 to support brands helping to reduce childhood obesity.

The programme initially selected seven startups, including quinoa crisps maker Nombots, marshmallow brand Lexi’s Treats and sorghum snack brand Insane Grain.

“We’re committed to helping healthier challenger brands improve the options for all families”, Mission Ventures CEO Paddy Willis said.

“We’re excited to welcome these plant-based businesses and look forward to seeing them grow alongside our existing brands in support of these objectives.”

Better Nature co-founder Chris Kong added: “Our mission is to make protein without compromise, creating all-natural meat alternatives that are nutritious, delicious and accessible to all consumers.

“The Good Food Fund is a great fit for us, and we are excited to work alongside Mission Ventures on a shared ambition to take tempeh to the mainstream and support the nation’s options for healthier eating.”

The Good Food Fund is continuing to look for healthier challenger brands to back in its second cohort.

Mission is led by three entrepreneurs who have co-founded and successfully exited their own challenger brands for a combined total of more than £50m: Paddy Willis (Plum Baby), Nigel Parrott (Ape Snacks) and John Stapleton (New Covent Garden Soup and Little Dish).

The accelerator also launched Batch Ventures in July, a venturing partnership with Warburtons.

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