Axios Pro: Climate Deals

March 27, 2023

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1 big thing: Chipotle's climate menu

Illustration of a taco full of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chipotle’s venture fund is directing its capital toward the sustainable food supply chain, with two minority investments under its belt already, our Retail Deals colleagues report.

Why it matters: Consumers say they want more climate-friendly, locally sourced food. Chipotle launched Cultivate Next last year to capture that market.

Catch up fast: Cultivate Next announced early-stage investments last week in Local Line, a food-sourcing software provider, and Zero Acre Farms, a sustainable oils and fats food company.

What’s next: Chipotle CTO Curt Garner tells Axios that the fund plans to make three to five investments a year.

Meanwhile, Eat Just, the parent of plant-based egg unit Just Egg and cultivated-meat unit Good Meat, continues to weigh whether the two businesses should be separated, CEO Josh Tetrick tells Retail Deals exclusively.

  • The company has raised well north of $400 million and is a pioneer in cultivated meat.

Plus: Pathwater, a Fremont, Calif.-based sustainable bottled-water business, is in talks with investors to raise additional cash, CEO Shadi Bakour tells Retail Deals exclusively.

  • The opportunity to grab more share of the bottled-water market is “so massive” that it would make sense to inject more capital, Bakour says.

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