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Proxy Foods Unveils AI Recipe Formulation Platform with $2.3M in Seed Funding

Co-Founder and entrepreneur Ted Leonsis leads funding round to help accelerate product development and innovation in the Food & Beverage industry with a focus on artificial intelligence.

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2024) – Today, Proxy Foods, the future-forward food and beverage AI platform, announces a successful $2.3 Million seed round to transform food and recipe formulation by solving the most complex challenges in flavor and nutrition. The seed round was supported with funding from Ted Leonsis, CAVA’s Ike Grigoropoulos, Ted Xenohristos, and Dimitri Moshovitis, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners’ Anthony Nader and Fredrick Schaufeld, Chairman and CEO of RGH Capital Robert G. Hisaoka and food industry veteran Richard Ware, among other investors.

Proxy Foods enables food & beverage companies to efficiently create new, or optimize existing, recipes and products through its AI recipe formulation platform. The solution leverages industry-changing AI and precision analytics in response to the urgent demand for sustainable food solutions and increasing consumer awareness around nutrition and animal welfare.

The platform meets the needs of research and development teams, food scientists, product developers, and chefs from multinational F&B manufacturers, food service providers, alternative protein companies and novel pet food startups looking to streamline complex R&D processes by weaving together ingredient data with advanced machine learning algorithms. It simplifies analysis and interpretation in the food development process, empowering companies to create responsible products with tastes and textures discerning consumers love.

“At Proxy Foods, we’re driving product innovation forward by merging cutting-edge technologies with the disciplines of food science and culinary arts.” said Panos Kostopulos, Proxy Foods Founder & CEO. “We’ve assembled an extraordinary group of people, characterized by high talent density and ethos, all driven to make a meaningful global impact and realize our shared vision. Our commitment is to pioneer a world where every recipe advances the aggregate well-being of all life and future generations.

Panos Kostopulos, a chemical engineer and food biotechnologist, is committed to creating a more sustainable and animal welfare-conscious global food system. He has a decade of experience in biotech, food R&D, and product development, and his areas of expertise include fermentation, plant-based and cell-cultivated foods, bioengineering, and conventional agriculture. Additionally, Kostopulos is the co-founder of two nonprofit organizations focusing on the advancement of cellular agriculture and the expansion of food technology.

“I am excited to join forces with Panos and his team at Proxy Foods to revolutionize the food and beverage industry using in-depth data analysis and predictive insights beyond the scope of traditional methods,” said Ted Leonsis. “This innovative approach and passionate team have the potential to disrupt, grow and improve the market. Panos has attracted an incredible group of investors who all believe in his vision, and I am proud to be part of the journey.”

Nearly a year ago, Proxy Foods won its first $30K check by taking first place at the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize competition, Bark Tank, an event dedicated to supporting Georgetown University students. This achievement served as a springboard for the company’s launch, simultaneously fostering its early development within the Georgetown Venture Lab. Recently, Proxy Foods clinched another victory with a $20K prize at the Hellenic Initiative’s Venture Impact Awards, a prestigious event recognizing promising startups in Greece and the Greek diaspora. 

Proxy Foods is also supported through collaborations with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at Georgetown University as well as the Food Chemistry and Technology Lab at the National Technical University of Athens.

“We’re at the leading edge of an era where AI and R&D food development aren’t just potential partners but actual collaborators,” added Petros Mandalis, Proxy Foods co-founder. “With advanced machine learning, we’re not only enriching the industry’s knowledge but also transforming how discoveries are made. Working with investors who share and support our vision passionately has been key to our success, allowing us to expand the limits of innovation.”

Kostopulos, Leonsis and Mandalis are joined by co-founders Sid Mitroo and Dimitris Zissis. Food industry veteran Richard Ware, recently retired after a remarkable 35-year career at Mars, Inc, will serve as Board Advisor. Together, this experienced group at the helm of AI is poised to make significant strides in reshaping how we think about and produce food for the people and animals on our planet.

“In a world that continues to offer more and more choice and variety, the consumer has never been more interested in great tasting, transparently sourced and sustainable food products. I am incredibly excited to be working with the fabulous team at Proxy Foods, at the intersection of taste and nutrition and cutting-edge AI tools. I am proud to be on this journey, which has extraordinary potential to make a difference to millions of lives.”, Richard Ware quoted.

In addition to Ted Leonsis, Ike Grigoropoulos, Ted Xenohristos, Dimitri Moshovitis, Anthony Nader and Fredrick Schaufeld, Richard Ware, and Robert G. Hisaoka, other major investors include: Howard Eisenberg (Mentor at the Good Food Institute, Founder & Former President, Eurosort and United Sortation Solutions, Board Member at Halcyon House), Roger Ferguson (Immediate past CEO and President, TIAA), Michelle Freeman (Owner & CEO, Carl M. Freeman Companies), Yiannis Gavrielides (Co-Founder, CEO, Covve, Managing Partner, Invelopment Partners), Evee & Alexander Georgiadis (Owners of Krinos Foods Canada), Chris Goulakos (Founder & Managing Partner, Balius Partners), George P. Stamas (Senior Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Board President at THI), Grant Verstandig (Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Red Cell Partners).

Proxy Foods is headquartered in Washington, DC, with an additional office in Athens, Greece, and a global team spanning key US markets (DC-Maryland-Virginia and San Francisco), UK (London), and continental EU. Proxy Foods is proud to join the ranks of innovative Food and Food-Tech companies in Washington DC, contributing to the city’s transformation into a global food capital. Washington DC, already home to renowned entities like Sweetgreen, CAVA, the Good Food Institute (GFI), Chef José Andres, and Rob Wilder’s Think Food Group, continues to establish its prominence in the food industry. The city’s unique position, enhanced by the proximity of the FDA and USDA, nurtures an unparalleled environment for advancements in food sustainability, technology, and safety, underscoring its role as a hub for food innovation.


Proxy Foods Inc., founded in 2022, is headquartered in Washington, DC, and develops AI Recipe Formulation software for the Food & Beverage industry, allowing R&D scientists and food product developers to innovate faster. Proxy Foods operates globally, with locations in the US and Europe. For more information, please visit