Monday, May 8, 2017

Bro Culture Apparently Works Best With An Unending Supply of Other People's Money: Hampton Creek Edition

“Leveraging our Hampton Creek Instagram channel through condiment launches for our Just Mayo and Just Dressings allows us to showcase our condiments in a playful, creative way and allows us to connect with different consumer demographics across the country. We also leverage Hampton Creek fan reposts and user-generated content...."
That is Hampton Creek's brand marketing director quoted in Progressive Grocer.
As the man said when told his Chinese takeaway was cultural appropriation:
When you talk like that you are self-identifying as an idiot.
Last Wednesday the Financial Times' David Keohane pointed us to a Hampton Creek article that reminded me of nothing so much as Christopher Isherwood's sad stories of the he-whores and she-whores who overstayed the great Weimar Berlin party of the 1920's.

All I could think of was "Dude, the rave's over, go home".

From Bloomberg: 

Hampton Creek CEO Fires Top Execs After Fundraising Struggles
  • Food startup has raised $7 million toward a $150 million goal
  • CEO said to terminate chiefs of finance, operations and HR
Hampton Creek Inc. has struggled to line up funding, and its management is in turmoil.

The venture-backed vegan food company has brought in a fraction of the funding it’s been trying to raise for the better part of a year, a slowdown from the rapid pace at which it was able to lure cash from investors in its early years as a startup. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer Josh Tetrick is looking to cut costs and fired several of his deputies, while a handful of other senior managers have exited the company in recent months, showing a lack of stability in Hampton Creek’s leadership ranks.

Last week, Tetrick dismissed his chief financial officer, chief operations officer and human resources chief, said people familiar with the matter. The heads of finance and logistics were also terminated, following a round of cuts in October and a slew of other departures, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. After the cuts, the vice president of business affairs, who served as corporate counsel and an adviser to Hampton Creek’s board, resigned on Monday, the people said.

Tetrick is taking steps to reduce expenses as the company endeavors to bring in more capital. Hampton Creek had set out to raise as much as $150 million, according to an estimate by private stock market firm Equidate based on a corporate filing from August. It has only secured about $7 million toward the funding round, said people with knowledge of the matter.

After Bloomberg asked Hampton Creek for comment on Monday, Fortune published an interview with Tetrick describing changes to his management team. He said he’s looking for leaders who are “very resilient” and hired two new vice presidents and a dual CFO-COO starting this month. He also told Fortune that Hampton Creek raised funds valuing the business at $1.1 billion, without disclosing the amount of capital it received....MORE
HT: FT Alphaville's Further Reading post

In other eggless mayonnaise news:

Unilever agrees to buy condiment upstart Sir Kensington's for $140 million
Unilever, which rebuffed a $143 billion takeover proposal from Kraft Heinz Co. earlier this year, is betting that condiments can help re-energize its business.

The household-product giant, whose portfolio includes Hellmann's mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, agreed to buy Sir Kensington's, an upstart food company that makes natural and non-GMO ketchup and eggless mayo. The price was about $140 million, a person familiar with the transaction said....
Previously at the Phi Scamma jamma frat house:

Just May Owe: "How Hampton Creek Sold Silicon Valley On A Fake-Mayo Miracle"

“Fake it till you make it”: The Dark Side of Bro Culture In Silicon Valley

August 26, 2016
"Hampton Creek Faces U.S. Criminal Probe Over Mayo Buybacks"
This thing has always had a whiff of Frat-boys-do-create-a-corp. about it. 
August 4, 2016 
"Just Mayo" Guys, Hampton Creek, Used Investor Money To Buy Its Own Product Off Store Shelves
Stay classy bro....
August 2015
Silicon Valley's Favorite Futuristic Food Company, Hampton Creek, May Be A Bit Fraudy
August 2015
FDA Says "No Eggs, Not Mayo": VC-backed Hampton Creek's CEO Is Defiant
September 2014
Forget GMOs. The Future of Food Is Data—Mountains of It
September 2013
Which Came First: The Artificial Plant-based Egg That Bill Gates and Peter Thiel Are Backing