Venture capital firm Good Startup raised US$25 million in the first close of its Good Protein Fund I, a cross-border venture capital fund that focuses on investing in alternative protein startups and comprises of individual investors and family offices with a focus on Southeast Asia.
Singapore-based Good Startup is looking to eliminate the use of animals in the food system and support alternative protein companies in building a sustainable food ecosystem instead that has minimal impact on the environment.
Investors that participated in this round include Anil Thadani, chairman of Symphony Asia Holdings; Tan Kim Seng chairman of Kim Seng Holdings and a consortium of senior partners from one of the leading 3 premium consulting companies, investing in an individual capacity as angel investors.
Good Startup will use the capital raised to invest in 32 companies: to date, has invested in six alternative protein brands like Eat Just, TurtleTree Labs, Avant Meats, Rebellyous Foods, Cultured Decadence, and Novel Farms. Apart from this, the Good Protein Fund I will guide the companies in various operational segments like IP protection, design of the organisation, how to scale up, recruiting talent, and fundraising strategies.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, managing partner of Good Startup Gautam Godhwani said of their mission: “For years, food ecosystem stakeholders had to balance the need to meet food security needs while also balancing the toll that animal food production takes on our world. Yet, the growing role of the biotechnology sector in producing alternative proteins can give us the same food we enjoy with less impact on our environment. This can only be achieved by supporting biotech food companies to scale globally, especially in markets that still depend heavily on meat.”
The growing role of the biotech sector in producing alt proteins can give us the same food we enjoy with less impact on our environment. This can only be achieved by supporting biotech food companies to scale globally, especially in markets that still depend heavily on meatGautam Godhwani, managing partner of Good Startup
By building a sustainable food ecosystem, Good Startup aims to feed the world’s predicted 10 billion population by 2050 as well as increase alt protein demand by 70% while using environmentally friendly methods, given that the animal agriculture industry is contributing to deforestation, species extinction and climate change.
Furthermore, reports have found that several zoonotic diseases are emerging from this industry urging governments to take action as possibilities of future outbreaks of disease look increasingly high.
The other managing partner of the company, Jayesh Parekh said that the future of the food system relies on these next-generation companies. “In order for them to meet their sustainable food production goals, they require investors and partners that can guide them throughout their journey. Being a cross-border fund that invests in alternative protein companies globally, we are especially excited about alternative protein ecosystem’s potential in rapidly emerging markets like Southeast Asia where we currently have a rich pipeline of deals that we are actively working on and expect to make announcements soon.”
With its Southeast Asian market focus, the VC is tapping into a region with a growing demand for alternative proteins. Green Queen research conduced with sector investor Michael Klar of Future Food Now showed that funding for startups across APAC had more than tripled for a record-breaking 12-month period from November 2019 to October 2020. The company has already received its Venture Capital Fund Management license in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to further its mission in this market.
Elsewhere, global accelerator-VC Rockstart raised €22m (approx. US$26M) for its agrifood fund to support agritech and foodtech startups to achieve a regenerative future. In addition, North Carolina-based Solar Biotech raised US$2 million in seed funding to help those that are working on sustainable fermentation solutions to scale up and reduce costs and venture capital firm Big Idea Ventures (BIV) announced a US$50 million first close of its New Protein Fund that again is aimed towards alternative protein innovators.
Lead image – Good Startup managing partners – Gautam Godhwani (L) and Jayesh Parekh (R), courtesy of Good Startup.