LOS ANGELES — Califia Farms is $50 million closer to its mission of becoming the leading plant-powered food and beverage company with its latest round of funding led by Ambrosia Investments and existing investors Sun Pacific and Stripes Group.
Califia will use the funding to expand its company-owned manufacturing capacity in Bakersfield, CA,. and further develop its go-to-market capabilities for commercializing innovations in plant-based milks, non-dairy creamers and cold brew coffees. It will also promote the launch of its new line of probiotic dairy free yogurt drinks.
To support the company’s strategic long-term growth, Sandeep Patel has also been appointed as chief financial officer, bringing a 20-year global investment banking career with Barclays and Goldman Sachs spanning food and beverage, agriculture and technology.
“Sandeep has a differentiated understanding of the food and beverage industry from soil to shelf as well as deep expertise helping high-growth companies like Califia develop strong financial frameworks and access to capital compatible with a long-term vision. I am thrilled to have Sandeep as a full-time partner,” said Greg Steltenpohl, CEO and co-founder, in a statement.
As chief financial officer, Patel will lead the company’s finance organization as well as certain operational, 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. With its strong lifestyle brand, track record of innovation and cross-category leadership, Califia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these trends,” adds Patel.
“Califia Farms has achieved remarkable growth in its six years of operation through a disruptive suite of plant-based products,” added Serge Schoen, partner and chairman of Ambrosia Investments.
The company has also brought on board a small group comprised of actors, musicians, professional athletes and supermodel entrepreneurs who support the values of a plant-based lifestyle, including Jared Leto, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karlie Kloss, Shaun White, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, as well as entertainment advisory groups PLUS Capital and Big Loud Capital.
The brand will sponsor Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ Monolith Tour this summer. Prior to the band taking stage, show-goers will experience a 90 second video introducing Califia’s namesake, Queen Califia, and her inspirational embodiment of the spirit of California.