Lypid, a vegan fat startup co-founded by Cornell alumni Jen-Yu Huang and Michelle Lee, has partnered with Louisa Coffee, Taiwan’s largest coffeehouse company. The collaboration will bring Lypid’s flagship product, PhytoFat™, to six menu items at the coffeehouse’s 500+ locations.
PhytoFat improves upon existing plant-based fats by providing similar textures and melting behaviors to meat, tastier flavors, and better nutrition. And while most plant-based proteins currently rely on palm oil and coconut oil for ingredients, Lypid’s product contains no artificial additives or trans fats.
“In the current market, ‘fat’ is the missing ingredient in the majority of plant-based meats,” said Lee, who serves as the CTO of the company. “Vegan oils used today simply melt and leak out of the food matrices due to lower melting points. With our PhytoFat, we are bringing the secret sauce back.”
By improving the taste and texture of plant-based meat, Lypid aims to bring meat alternatives into the mainstream. Louisa Coffee will offer sandwiches, rice burgers, muffins, and bagels containing PhytoFat to millions of consumers — perhaps some who haven’t yet tried plant-based proteins.
The startup has raised a total of $5 million dollars to bring their vegan fat to market, including a $4 million seed round this year led by the Green Generation Fund, with support from Big Idea Ventures, Foodland Ventures, and SOSV’s IndieBio.
Huang’s entrepreneurial journey began during his Chemical Engineering Ph.D. program at Cornell, when he participated in the 2019 cohort of the Commercialization Fellows. He completed an I-Corps Teams national course as a part of that program. Recently, he was featured in the Arts category of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia.
Lypid’s newly built production line will allow the startup to form more partnerships with other leading food companies across the globe, producing additional new dishes containing PhytoFat. In the long term, Lypid plans to produce 10 tons of fat per year for meat alternative companies to keep up with the rapidly growing market for vegan proteins.