Beth Zotter and Amanda Stiles, two entrepreneurs from Berkley, California, seek to “bring home the bacon and see change with a nutritious alternative to a cuisine that many vegans miss eating” on Season 13 of Shark Tank.
They are co-founders of UMANO, a company that produces and sells plant-based bacon produced primarily from high-protein red seaweed (dulse).
When cooked, one of the red seaweed’s best qualities in the food sector is that it browns. Beet juice is used as a colorant in plant-based Beyond Burgers so the burgers don’t change color on the inside.
In an interview, Zotter stated that the Department of Energy funds the company (previously Trophic) “because it is interested in seaweed as a sustainable fuel.” Seaweed, on the other hand, might become the most sustainable and scalable source of protein on the planet thanks to the same technology.”
Zotter and Stiles have the good fortune of pitching to Mark Cuban, a billionaire who has invested in a number of vegan food companies, including Wild Earth vegan pet food. Following his appearance on Shark Tank, Cuban assisted Wild Earth in raising an extra $23 million.
Umano stated that the company had raised $3 million and that Sustainable Food Ventures had participated just days before the Shark Tank episode aired. Ryan Bethencourt, the founder of Wild Earth, runs the micro venture capital firm Sustainable Food Ventures.