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LeBron James, Questlove back carbon-neutral food startup

Illustration of a mason jar with carbon dioxide molecules captured inside.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

After raising a celebrity-packed initial round of funding, Neutral Foods is gearing up for a Series A round, investor David Adelman tells Richard.

  • Adelman is the founder of Darco Capital, which led the recent funding round into the so-called carbon-neutral food maker. That round included entertainers John Legend and Questlove and basketball legend LeBron James.

Why it's the BFD: Food startups like Neutral Foods are attracting cash because of their efforts to reduce the industry's impact on climate change and the environment.

  • Agricultural production is cited as one of the major contributors to climate change, according to the EPA.
  • Mark Cuban and Bill Gates are also investors in Neutral Foods, which has raised a total of $8 million headed into its Series A.

Catch up fast: Food becomes carbon neutral by changing the dairy cattle’s diet, for example, and better managing their manure. Carbon is also offset by purchasing carbon credits.

What's next: The company plans to add butter to its offerings and continue to work its way through the dairy category, with the aim of ultimately branching out into carbon-neutral meat.

  • Just as stores once had an organic food aisle, Adelman foresees a carbon-neutral aisle in grocery stores.

The bottom line: The investment has increased Darco Capital's (whose previous investments include GoPuff and Lids, for example) appetite to invest in other climate startups, Adelman said.

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