Fifteen businesses join foodtech VC’s early-stage accelerator to fast-track growth and investment 

Kabocha Milk, a New Zealand company part-funded by the local government has joined BIV’s latest cohort Source: BIV

Early-stage foodtech VC and accelerator Big Idea Ventures has secured fifteen new start-ups as part of its latest cohort, including US alt-meat business The Mushroom Meat Co and Japan’s Umami United. 

The group of companies hails from 13 different countries and, according to a Big Idea Ventures statement, addresses various gaps in the food production and consumer goods markets. 

“The fifteen companies in Big Idea Ventures’ latest global accelerator cover a wide range of technologies leveraging precision fermentation, cell-based technologies, and building bioplatforms to unlock the potential behind unique ingredients,” the statement said. 

Five companies have joined via the New York accelerator, including Australian plant protein producer The Leaf Protein Co. Optimised Foods, a US-based company, joins the cohort to grow its mycelium production business, which used an in-house technology platform to create unique consumer products like boba tea. 

US business CF Foods Group makes cruelty-free consumer goods, including dog treats that ar made up of both cultured-meat and plant-based ingredients, while UK start-up Alt Atlas has developed a machine learning platform for sourcing functional ingredients for the alt-protein sector. 

The VC’s Singapore Accelerator has also taken on five new start-ups as part of the latest cohort. Kabocha Milk Co, a New Zealand company, is using squash to produce meat and dairy alternatives, while Indonesian start-up Meatless Kingdom has developed locally-inspired foods using plant-based ingredients. 

Singaporian business Pullolo has developed microbial protein for various food applications using byproducts and up cycled ingredients. Umami United specialises in Japanese-inspired plant-based food using unique local ingredients. 

The final group of five companies have joined the accelerator as part of its Paris arm, including Swiss tech start-up Cultivated Biosciences which is enhancing plant-based dairy alternatives with a creamy yeast-based fat ingredient. 

Genesea, from Israel, is using algae to produce various food ingredients, and Czech Republic-based business Mewery is developing cultivated pork. French precision fermentation start-up up Nutropy has produced milk protein identical to those found in cow’s milk. 

Finally, Väcka, a Spanish start-up has built its business on making plant-based cheese using a unique approach to fermentation. 

The VC’s programme director in Singapore Dr Dalal AlGhawas said of the latest cohort: “We are proud to announce our first investments in Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. This is a testament to the growth of the alternative protein category in some of the biggest consumer markets in Asia, especially for South-East Asia. Product localisation is key for these markets, and we are excited to see the emphasis on clean labels and food waste valorisation.” 

Big Idea Ventures is currently accepting applications for its sixth cohort which will commence in the summer. 

Date published: 3 May 2022

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