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Sudden Management Shift as Hampton Creek Seeks to Raise $50M on a $300M to $400M Valuation From Vy Capital, Others

Apparently, you have to break a lot of eggs to make a viable business.

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Hampton Creek, the high-flying San Francisco food tech company, hired well-known investor Ali Partovi two weeks ago to run its strategy and essentially be the No. 2 to CEO Josh Tetrick.

And today he’s out, according to multiple sources and also a letter Partovi sent to friends yesterday.

The unusual move, which neither Partovi nor the company would explain, comes as Hampton Creek is in the process of signing a term sheet with Vy Capital as a key investor in a new round of mega-funding. The new round is for $50 million and puts the valuation of the company at $300 million to $400 million.

Vy — an investment group founded by former DST partner Alexander Tamas — will not be the only investor in the mix, said sources. The fundraising is not yet complete, but is expected to be wrapped up soon.

A lot of broken eggs on the floor over there, so to speak, since Hampton Creek’s most popular products center on plant-based egg substitutes.

Hampton Creek employs a team of food scientists and chefs to find the right combination of plant proteins to closely mimic the emulsifying, binding, aerating and other properties of real eggs.

The Partovi hire seemed like a coup when it was announced earlier this month. He is best known for co-founding two companies with his twin brother, Hadi: LinkExchange, which was sold to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998, and iLike, which was purchased by Myspace for, well, not so much in 2009. Besides Hampton Creek, Partovi’s recent interest in sustainable food includes investments in Farmigo and BrightFarms.

In a statement, Tetrick said: “He’s an incredible person and has made us better in numerous ways. I’m fortunate to call him a friend — and mentor. I think we both realized that we’d all be more effective with him as an adviser — given our current needs and opportunities as a young, growing company.”

Hampton Creek has thus far raised a nice funding kitty of about $30 million from investors such as Asian magnate Li Ka-shing and Khosla Ventures. Other previous investors include AME Cloud Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Eagle Cliff.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the Partovi departure earlier today.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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