/// Forget Trendy Coffee Beans — Now Seaweed Innovation Gets Techie Money
First, it was twee organic coffee bean purveyor investments. Then it was better-for-you candy bar funding . And now? Seaweed, naturally. In the ongoing interest in perfecting food by techies , a company called New Frontier Food has raised $1.7 million in a seed round from a range of investors. That includes Mike Buckley, a top comms exec at Facebook, and Mike Shim, who has been a well-known mobile exec for both Yahoo and Groupon, as well as investments from various people at ConAgra, Starbucks, Pinterest and Google. The money raised is for Ocean’s Halo The Seaweed Chip, which the company describes as “the first totally delicious, crispy, crunchy chip made from sustainably harvested seaweed.” It is now available at Whole Foods and on Amazon, but New Frontier is working on some even larger chain retailer deals. As a Lay’s person myself, I am perhaps not the demo target, but it is interesting to note how many techies have an increasing interest in investing in the food sector, including such startups as Good Eggs and Hampton Creek Foods . “Coming from the tech world, bringing pioneering products to market in record time is in our DNA and we’re looking forward to taking the snack aisle by storm,” said Buckley, who in his day job is VP of global business communications for Facebook (i.e. CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s PR guy) and is also one of New Frontier Foods’ “four founding dads.” By applying some of the principles of technology and software development to food, Ocean’s Halo has been able to go from pie-in-the-sky concept to the shelf in six months.