US-based vegan cheese brand Grounded Foods has raised $1.74 million in a seed funding round, led by Beyond Meat backer Stray Dog Capital.

Grounded has created a range of ‘premium’ plant-based cheeses using fermented cauliflower and hemp seeds, that are free from nuts, soy, gluten and GMOs, as well as dairy.

The company’s offering is said to be low cost, nutrient dense, with environmental benefits, and aims to make the vegan cheese category more accessible to consumers.

Grounded is the latest addition to Stray Dog’s plant-based portfolio, which also includes names such as Beyond Meat, Meatless Farm, Miyoko’s Creamery, Hooray Foods and Good Planet Foods.

Headquartered in Kansas, Stray Dog describes itself as a ‘mission-driven’ venture capital firm, specialising in early-stage companies that contribute towards creating a healthier, more humane and sustainable food system.

Other investors in Grounded Foods’ latest financing round include Rocana Ventures, Veg Invest Trust and members of the GlassWall Syndicate.

“There’s an enormous shift happening all over the world right now, as we reexamine our eating habits and uncover deep inefficiencies in the food supply chain,” said Grounded co-founder, Veronica Fil.

“As a business founder, I want to be part of the solution. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with Stray Dog Capital, and an incredible mix of forward-thinking investors, and join them in their mission to build a more ethical and sustainable food system.”

Johnny Ream, principal from Stray Dog Capital, added: “We are always looking for extraordinary players in the plant-based cheese category, and Grounded’s product and team exceeded our expectations in taste, creativity and strategy.”

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