Lotus Foods Announces Transformative Investment

July 10, 2024 


For nearly 30 years, Lotus Foods has been a global leader in expanding regenerative rice farming practices to mitigate climate change, promote farmers’ resilience, and empower women.


Lotus Foods, a global pioneer in heirloom, organic and regenerative rice cultivation and a leader in rice-based noodles, today announced an investment of $22.5 million from Grounded Capital, a San Francisco-based investment firm focused on deploying capital that supports healthy social, ecological and financial systems.


Grounded Capital’s investment will enable Lotus Foods to further scale its business by deepening investments along its value chain, from sourcing new global rice cultivation communities to growing and diversifying its customer base. Grounded Capital’s CEO Stephen Hohenrieder and Principal William Culler-Chase will join Lotus Foods’ Board of Directors as part of this investment. This marks a significant milestone for the company which has achieved remarkable growth over nearly three decades without substantial external investment.


“When we founded Lotus Foods, our goal was to create positive change in the industry by focusing on the well-being of our farmer partners, our consumers, and the world that we live in.” said Caryl Levine & Ken Lee, Co-founders of Lotus Foods. “Grounded Capital shares those values, and we are proud to welcome them into the Lotus Foods family to help us scale our economic, social, and environmental impact.”


Founded in 1995, Lotus Foods is an industry leader in promoting organic rice farming practices, rice biodiversity and supporting farmers’ resilience. Since 2008, the company has created incentives for growing methods that help mitigate climate change and empower women, using the regenerative methodologies of System of Rice Intensification (SRI), what Lotus Foods calls its More Crop Per Drop® method. Based on agroecological principles that focus on building soil health and supporting root growth, SRI enables farmers to improve yields and increase farm resilience without requiring specialized seeds or agrochemicals. And, by eliminating the need to keep rice paddies flooded, SRI reduces methane emissions associated with rice cultivation.


“We are excited to have found a mission-aligned partner in Grounded Capital,” said Andrew Burke, CEO of Lotus Foods. “Together, we will accelerate our progress towards a more regenerative food system and do our part to combat the impact of climate change while supporting our smallholder farmers and their communities.”


“For nearly 30 years, Lotus Foods has been a global leader in rice farming practices that prioritize climate change mitigation, farmer resilience, empowerment of women, and a more equitable food system. This mission-driven business model, coupled with an exceptional line of consumer products makes Lotus Foods an ideal partner,” said Stephen Hohenrieder, CEO & Founder of Grounded Capital. “Lotus Foods and Grounded Capital share a belief that by taking a systems-based, holistic approach, we can have a significant and positive impact on communities from soil to the consumer. We’re thrilled to be part of their future growth and success.”


Rondout Partners LLC acted as placement agent and exclusive financial advisor to Lotus Foods in connection with the transaction.


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