The $15 million fund includes an initial portfolio of 10 Asia-Pacific start-ups
New Zealand-based venture capital firm Better Bite Ventures has launched a $15 million fund, including an initial portfolio of 10 Asia-Pacific start-ups, harnessing plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies to create climate-friendly meat, dairy, egg and seafood alternatives.
The fund, dedicated entirely to alt protein investments in Asia-Pacific, is backed by impact investors, growth stage fund managers, family offices, as well as food and tech entrepreneurs from Asia, the US and Europe. It invests primarily at founding, pre-seed and seed stages.
Better Bite Ventures was created by Michal Klar and Simon Newstead, two Asia-Pacific-based operators turned impact investors.
Klar said: “We’re here to invest in bold founders building Asia’s future foodtech unicorns. Now is the time for Asia – we believe home-grown companies with local insights will take a leading role in this rapidly growing market.”
Newstead added: “Having been founders ourselves, we know how helpful having truly supportive investors can be. Being responsive with founder-friendly terms, a lack of red tape and a focus on long term sustainability, we aim to be a trusted partner right from the start.”
The launch portfolio includes companies involved with plant-based, cell-based, precision and biomass fermentation and molecular farming from China, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, They are:
- Blue Canopy, a Chinese firm mass-market alt protein ingredients using biomass fermentation, co-founded by Chenfeng Lu and Juchuan Zhou
- CellX, a Chinese cultivated meat start-up, co-founded by Ziliang Yang, Ning Xiang, Binlu Huang and Ran Liu
- Change Foods, founded in Australia and producing cheese with precision fermentation technology, co-founded by David Bucca and Professor Junior Te’o
- Fable Food Co, headquartered in Australia, transforming mushrooms into meat, co-founded by Michael Fox and Jim Fuller
- Green Rebel Foods, a plant-based meat and dairy start-up, co-founded by Helga Angelina and Max Mandias in Indonesia
- Me&, addressing the human milk and infant nutrition market with cell-based technology, co-founded by Esha Saxena and Luis Malaver-Ortega in Australia
- Meatiply, developing cultivated poultry in Singapore, co-founded by Elwin Tan, Jason Chua, Benjamin Chua and Professor Teh Bin Tean
- Next Gen Foods, makers of Tindle plant-based chicken, co-founded by Timo Recker and Andre Menezes, based in Singapore
- Umami Meats, addressing sustainability issues of seafood by developing cell-cultured fish, founded by Mihir Pershad in Singapore
- And a stealth molecular farming start-up.
The Better Bite Ventures team also includes venture partner Sonalie Figueiras, founder of Green Queen Media, an impact media platform and SourceGreenPackaging, a global marketplace for sustainable packaging.
Figueiras said: “Having known Michal and Simon in the space for years, I know how switched on and impact driven they are. I’m delighted to join as a senior advisor and industry collaborator,”
Better Bite Ventures is inviting all start-up founders in the region, both active and aspiring, to get in touch.
Date published: 28 February 2022