India’s pioneer plant-based egg company Evo Foods recently closed its pre-seed round and secured INR 6.2 crores (US$845,000) that will help the startup gear up for its launch in the Indian market as well as scale its R&D and marketing team to prepare for an international launch in 2022.
Mumbai-based Evo Foods was founded in 2019 by Kartik Dixit and Shraddha Bhansali, and with the help of biotechnology, plant proteins are obtained from lentils thus creating a 100% vegan egg liquid that is cruelty-free, has zero cholesterol and is antibiotic-free. The liquid egg also contains amino acids and and micronutrients including vitamin D, A, and B12.
In addition to the funding, Evo has welcome new advisors too, with Shaun Neff joining the advisory board along with ex-advisor to Beyond Meat, Dr. Joseph Puglisi, and co-founder of the Material Innovation Initiative (MII) Stephanie Downs. Neff has invested and worked with Robinhood & Target and has unveiled brands featuring Kendall Jenner and Millie Bobbie Brown.
In the past, Evo Foods was supported by investors including veteran vegan founder, Ryan Bethencourt; VegInvest and founder of Shiok Meats, Dr. Sandhya Sriram.
The round received additional support from Sustainable Food ventures, Michiel Van Deursen at Capital V, Vaibhav Domkundwar at Better Capital, Anil Advani at Inventus Law, Sweden-based Kale United, LA-based Seven Hound ventures, Hearthstone Investments, and members of the U.S.-based Glasswall Syndicate.
Evo Foods has gone from strength to strength since its launch in May 2020, participating in Big Idea Ventures’ New York accelerator last year, chosen as one of the top 5 CPG startups in the FoodBytes by Rabobank program, and selected among the top 12 startups and first ever food company in the Lightspeed Venture partners’ Extreme Entrepreneurs 2021 program.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, co-founder Bhansali said that the team is excited to have a great set of investors. “As a vegetarian and a proponent of sustainable and clean eating, I observed a huge market gap and demand in the plant-based protein sector while handling customers at my restaurant. Our goal is to get Evo into every continent within the next 5 years. We aim to create a non-judgemental food brand of the future that is people, planet, and palate friendly for the better imperfect consumer. The plant-based revolution is just beginning in India and we want to be on the forefront of this movement by offering the most delicious food ever.”
Our goal is to get Evo into every continent within the next 5 years. We aim to create a non-judgemental food brand of the future that is people, planet, and palate friendly for the better imperfect consumer. This is just the beginning of the plant-based revolution in IndiaShraddha Bhansali, co-founder of Evo Foods
Deursen from Capital V, said of the round: As an entrepreneur, and early investor in companies like The Vegetarian Butcher, I know the space of alternative proteins very well, and I’ve seen its growth accelerate at an unprecedented rate in the past years. India is a very exciting fast-growing market, and it already has the world’s largest vegetable eating population. I am proud and excited to help Evo grow and offer India and the world a better alternative reducing the need for animal agriculture.”
According to research, the global egg market is worth US$200 billion, with 100 billion eggs produced in 2019 in India alone. With conscious consumers looking for animal-free alternatives, the plant-based egg sector is booming exponentially in the global alternative protein market with this category alone set to reach US$1.3 billion by 2023.
Last month, Evo Foods was awarded by PETA India’s ‘Most Innovative Company’ and the startup’s first public tasting event held in February was over-subscribed within an hour of announcing it.
Going forward, the startup aims to launch its product via Indian foodservice channels and through restaurants in the second quarter of 2021. It is also in talks with several leading QSR chains for an extensive launch at the end of 2021 with plans to debut in the international market.
Lead image – Founders Shraddha Bhansali and Kartik Dixit holding Evo, courtesy of Evo Foods.