A newly launched venture capital firm serving the Asia-Pacific area has launched in a bid to find and support the future of alternative protein foodtech in the region.
Better Bite Ventures will use its $15 million (around £11.2 million) fund to support an initial portfolio of ten pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups focused on plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies.
Better Bite founders Michal Klar and Simon Newstead claim the fund is the first of its kind to be dedicated entirely to the alt protein market.
Among the start-ups being supported by Better Bite are the Chinese company Blue Canopy, which produces alternative proteins via biomass fermentation; the Australian cheese company Change Foods; and Singaporean cultivated poultry company Meatiply.
Also part of the portfolio is Next Gen Foods, the Singapore-based company which makes TiNDLE. the plant-based chicken product which just raised $100 million (around £75 million) in funding with investment from the likes of Paul McCartney.
Both Klar and Newstead are long-time plant-based eaters, who stress the benefits of embracing alternative protein sources.
According to a Johns Hopkins University report cited by the founders, alternative protein products could save up to 93% in greenhouse gas emissions, 89% in water and 98% in land use compared to their animal equivalents.
Additionally, the fund believes the alternative protein market could be worth $290 billion (£216.2 billion) by 2035 – with two thirds of consumption coming from the Asia-Pacific region.
“We’re here to invest in bold founders building Asia’s future food-tech unicorns” said Klar, General Partner. “Now is the time for Asia – we believe home-grown companies with local insights will take a leading role in this rapidly growing market”.
As for why Asia, and China in particular, is seeing such success in the alternative protein field, scientific researcher Angela Zhang recently wrote in a piece for Food Matters Live that the success is down to clever positioning.
“Most local plant-based meat start-ups are not just targeting vegans and vegetarians, but also non-plant-based young professionals, who are looking to adopt a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle and want to reduce their meat consumption and consume more plant-based alternatives.
“This type of consumer is exactly where the growth potential for this market is.“
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