Leonardo Di Caprio has become a strategic investor in the company behind the Neat Burger chain.
The Hollywood actor is the latest celebrity name to give their backing to the Neat Food Co, with Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton also among its investors.
The Titanic star said: “Disrupting our food system with sustainable alternatives is one of the key ways we can make a real difference in reducing global emissions.
“Neat Burger’s pioneering approach to alternative-proteins is a great example of the type of solutions we need moving forward.”
Neat is bidding to become the world’s first food tech company that serves as both a restaurant and alternative-proteins CPG business, unified by a powerful brand.
Its expansion plan follows the UK success of Neat Burger restaurants and award-winning recognition for its patties and food.
The company’s first US restaurant will open in New York later in the year after it recently opened a pop-up in Manhattan to engage with the local community and build a dialogue with consumers ahead of the flagship launch.
The roll-out will then span major hubs across the US in a bid to fulfil its vision to make sustainable food products an everyday staple as increasing numbers of conscious consumers look to reduce their meat intake and adopt a flexitarian lifestyle.
In addition to the US, NEAT is launching later this year in Italy and the Middle East through corporately-owned online and offline restaurants and franchise partnerships.
Neat expects to have 42 sites globally by the end of 2022, including 12 in the US, 231 by the end of 2024 and 436 by the end of 2026.
Tommaso Chiabra, co-founder and Chairman of Neat Food Co, said: “Neat is on a mission to create a sustainably delicious future. We are using our brand to build community and lead the change for a more sustainable future of food. Our Series B raise will accelerate our global expansion and entry into the CPG market, so everyone can enjoy alternatives that not only taste delicious but have a positive impact on the planet.”