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Califia Farms secures $50mn investment to expand plant-based drinks

Califia announced that it had appointed former Barclays and Goldman Sachs executive, Sandeep Patel, as its new Chief Financial Officer. 

Plant-based beverage maker, Califia Farms, has raised over $50mn in an investment round led by Ambrosia Investment, and existing investors Sun Pacific and Stripes Group.

With the new funding, Califia plans to expand its manufacturing capacity in Bakersfield, California, and further develop its go-to-market capabilities for commercialising recent innovations in plant-based milks, non-dairy creamers and cold brew coffees.

The Los Angeles-based firm said that it will also be promoting the launch of its new line of probiotic dairy-free yoghurt drinks. 

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“This round of funding will allow us to further pursue our vision to be the leading plant-powered food and beverage company of the future by investing in our four brand pillars of sustainability, health and wellness, plant-based innovation and engaging consumer experiences,” explained Greg Steltenpohl, CEO and Co-Founder of Califia Farms. 

“Serge Schoen and his partners at Ambrosia complement our current investors with global experience in optimizing plant-based supply chains and supporting the continued rapid growth of entrepreneurial companies like Califia Farms.”

On top of this, Califia also announced that it had appointed former Barclays and Goldman Sachs executive, Sandeep Patel, as its new Chief Financial Officer. 

He will lead Califia's finance organisation as well as certain operation, legal, technological and strategic areas.

"Califia is at the intersection of some of the most powerful trends to shape the food system in the last 50 years,” Patel said. 

“With its strong lifestyle brand, track record of innovation and cross-category leadership, Califia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these trends.”

US retail sales of plant-based beverages topped $6bn in 2016, according to Packaged Facts. 

Founded in 2010, Califia has celebrity shareholders including Leonardo DiCaprio, Karlie Kloss and Jared Leto.