Last month, Dao Foods, a cross-border impact investment venture helping bring sustainable protein to China, announced the launch of its Dao Foods Venture Fund 1 to support 30 alternative protein companies within the next three years. Now, it has revealed its first cohort of its Dao Foods Incubator initiative, comprising four Chinese companies working on key plant-based solutions, from dairy alternatives to food delivery.
Announced on Friday (October 16), Dao Foods has selected four Chinese plant-based companies who are working on plant-based products catered to the local market to join its incubator program. The companies chosen include Shanghai-based Kitchen 70/30, a plant-based food delivery service offering healthy vegan meals, and Fresh Foods, a Shenzhen company developing plant-based yogurt and other dairy alternatives. They are joined by Raw Plant-Based, a venture creating plant-based smoothie products targeting younger mainstream consumers in Beijing, and functional plant-based protein drink brand also based in Beijing, WOW Foods.
We believe that the growth we have witnessed in alternative protein sector in the U.S. over the last few years will soon be repeated in China.Albert Tseng, Co-Founder of Dao Foods International
The incubator was launched in partnership with venture capital fund New Crop Capital, an early investor of Beyond Meat and other leading food techs. Beyond financing, the program arms the companies with mentorship, workshops and customised training, as well as access to Dao Foods’ network of experts and industry partners. Over the next six months, the plant-based brands will be able to further develop their products and tailor them specifically to appeal to mainstream consumers in China.
“We believe that the growth we have witnessed in alternative protein sector in the U.S. over the last few years will soon be repeated in China and are excited to work with New Crop Capital, Matrix Partners and other visionary and impact-oriented investors to accelerate investment in China- focused entrepreneurs who aim to increase the availability of great-tasting plant-based and alternative protein products in China,” said Albert Tseng, co-founder of Dao Foods International.
We are hoping that an army of entrepreneurs can be nurtured and developed from the Dao Foods Incubator where we will be providing intensive and structured mentoring to these next-gen food entrepreneurs.Tao Zhang, Co-Founder of Dao Foods International
Tao Zhang, co-founder of Dao Foods, added: “The alternative protein sector is still quite nascent in China, and the mainstream consumer awareness of plant-based alternatives is not fully there yet. We are hoping that an army of entrepreneurs can be nurtured and developed from the Dao Foods Incubator where we will be providing intensive and structured mentoring to these next-gen food entrepreneurs.”
At the time of the initial launch of the program, Tseng told Green Queen that its mission is to “get behind entrepreneurs who will ‘set the table’ with delicious and sustainable options for consumers.”
This latest news comes shortly after Dao Foods announced the its new venture fund to support the incubator, which will invest 500,000 RMB (US$73,280) in each company selected by the Dao Foods Incubator with a 30 company remit, making the total deployed over the next three years 15 million RMB (US$2.2 million).
Lead image courtesy of OmniPork / Christine Cheung.