Tetrick Attempting to Raise Investment Capital


According to a recent posting on Bloomberg, Just Inc. the most recent iteration of the sequential string of businesses established by Josh Tetrick, is casting a net beyond the U.S. to raise $200 million. He has yet to explain what the previous capital infusion allegedly by Jerry Yang and Vinod Khosla amounting to a claimed $220 million have produced. All that Tetrick has to show for his investors' money are jars of not very stable ersatz mayonnaise and an egg substitute suitable for scrambling.

Tetrick is long on claims but falls short on implementation. When he established his operation four names ago in the 2000s with seed money from the HSUS he boasted that he could displace the U.S. egg industry with plant-based alternatives. We are still here and growing. Two years ago he claimed that he was on the cusp of launching cell-cultured meat. Given that the FDA and USDA have yet to write regulations which may take years and faced with legitimate competitors this claim is regarded as a money-raising ploy to raise investment capital or to generate publicity which fuels his ego.

Just-"whatever" is not exactly filling supermarket shelves or consumers' pantries nor is it a recognized brand. The history of his companies includes a 2016 scandal involving deceptive marketing, an SEC investigation without any penalty, churn among technical and marketing employees and mass defections from his Board.

It is considered significant that he claims to be negotiating with CLSA Ltd. a subsidiary of Citic Securities of China for funds. Apparently U.S. investors have cooled to his claims to be a disruptor and innovator. Other food-related start-ups involved in alternatives to conventional animal protein have received funding from established companies including Tyson Foods and Maple Leaf. Why does the Tetrick business plan not attract U.S. funding? Perhaps the Silicon Valley and East Coast velociraptors are applying the banker's 3-Cs of Character, Collateral and Capacity, and he is coming up short. Can he spell Theranos?