APAC-focused investment fund, Better Bite Ventures, has recently announced its first 10 companies in its portfolio which will benefit from its new US$15 million fund.
These startup companies include 4 cell-cultured firms, 3 plant-based and 2 in fermentation technology.
Better Bite is also the first VC fund dedicated to both APAC-only founders and alternative protein companies exclusively.
Portfolio companies selected come across the region, with many in recognised food tech hubs, including China (CellX and Blue Canopy), Singapore (Meatiply and Umami Meats), Indonesia (Green Rebel Foods) and Australia (Fable Food Co and Me&).
Global funding into alternative protein companies grew from US$3.3 billion in 2020 to US$4.9 billion in 2021. Companies in the US accounted for US$3.5 billion of last year’s total while only US$772 million flowed into Asia. This is expected to change as more investments develop in Asia in the coming years.
Mirte Gosker, Managing Director of The Good Food Institute commented, “Asia Pacific has the potential to become a hotbed of alternative protein unicorns, but they wont fly at full speed until investors dramatically ramp up support for plant-based and cultivated meat manufacturing infrastructure, which is critical for nurturing growth. The launch of the first fund dedicated to APAC alternative protein startups is an encouraging symbol of changing times and the broader VC world.”
Meanwhile, there are plans to invest in up to 20 to 30 startups for this new fund. These startups will not only benefit from the financial support but also the wide network of contacts offered by Better Bite founders, Michal Klar and Simon Newstead. In addition, the 2 founders expect a major consolidation among alternative protein players to happen in the future, on top of development of hybrid products like the use of cultivated meat in plant-based products to reach to a larger consumer market, while at the same time gain better consumer acceptance with better tasting products.