A jar of Just’s egg-less mayonnaise is arranged with deli meats and bread for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Egg-Free Mayo Startup Just Seeks $200 Million Funding

(Bloomberg) -- Just Inc., the food startup formerly known as Hampton Creek, is seeking to raise about $200 million in new funding as it tries to move past questions about its sales and product quality, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The San Francisco-based company, which develops plant-based products like eggless mayonnaise, has been gauging preliminary interest from Chinese investors, according to one of the people. CLSA Ltd., the overseas arm of Chinese investment bank Citic Securities Co., is working on the fundraising, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The company, then known as Hampton Creek, was caught in 2016 purchasing its own products to boost revenue ahead of a fundraising round. The revelation prompted probes from the U.S. Department of Justice and securities regulator. In March the next year, co-founder Joshua Tetrick told staff that the investigations ended with no wrongdoing found.

Just, as the company is now known, has raised at least $220 million since its inception. Its early backers include billionaires tech luminaries like venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

Representatives for Just and for CLSA declined to comment.

In 2017, members of Hampton Creek’s board resigned en masse and Target Corp. stopped selling its products after the retailer said it received “specific and serious food safety allegations.” Just has maintained that its products are safe and comply with Food and Drug Administration rules.

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