India’s first plant-based egg startup Evo Foods has just announced new investment from vegan investment fund VegInvest and the co-founder and CEO of Shiok Meats, Dr. Sandhya Sriram. The news comes after the food tech welcomed veteran vegan founder Ryan Bethencourt as its first angel investor and advisor alongside US-Asia impact venture firm Big Idea Ventures.
On Wednesday (June 10), Evo Foods announced investment from VegInvest, a plant-based investment firm led by Amy Trakinski. VegInvest has previously backed a number of major alternative protein startups including Dutch cultivated meat company Mosa Meat, vegan egg brand JUST, and Wild Earth, a clean pet food startup founded by Ryan Bethencourt who invested in Evo Foods last month.
The Mumbai-based food tech also revealed that Dr. Sandhya Sriram, the co-founder and CEO of Shiok Meats, will be joining as an angel investor, marking Sriram’s first ever angel investment. Based out of Singapore, Shiok Meats is the first cultivated shrimp company developing cell-based alternatives to address the unsustainable seafood industry, winning it a spot on Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative companies in Asia-Pacific this year.
Founded in 2019 by Kartik Dixit and Shraddha Bhansali, an India Forbes “30 under 30” alum, Evo Foods uses biotechnology to harness plant proteins derived from lentils to create a 100% vegan liquid egg product that is more sustainable compared to conventional eggs, contains no cholesterol, no antibiotics and is animal cruelty-free.
Speaking to Green Queen about their latest funding announcement, Bhansali explained that veteran vegan entrepreneur and investor Ryan Bethencourt, who became Evo Foods’ first investor alongside Big Idea Ventures had introduced both Trakinski from VegInvest and Sandhya to the company.
Bhansali added that the majority of the capital will be directed towards their product innovation and development pipeline. “Our new funding and mentorship from both Amy and Sandhya will help us accelerate this timeline,” she told Green Queen, adding that the company hopes to be able to launch their first commercial product by mid-September.
This will be a significant step for the plant-based market, which despite having undergone major growth in recent years, has been primarily focused on meat and dairy alternatives. Clara Foods, which uses fermentation technology to replicate the protein in eggs without animal cells, and well-known food tech JUST are part of a small sector working on slaughter-free eggs.
Asia’s egg industry is particularly suited for disruption by companies like Evo Foods. Eggs remain one of the most convenient and cost-effective sources of animal protein for millions in the region, with India producing 100 billion eggs annually and the figure reaching 600 billion in China.
Looking ahead, Evo Foods will be continually focused on R&D and application expansion, while also looking at potential expansions into the Southeast Asia market in the next few years.
With investors increasingly turning their attention to the growing alternative protein ecosystem in India, Evo Foods’ latest investment news sends yet another signal of more major milestones ahead.
“We are proud that Evo has been garnering all the right attention from mission aligned mentors and investors,” said Bhansali. “We’re so excited for more things to come.”
Lead image courtesy of Evo Foods / Shiok Meats / VegInvest / designed by Green Queen Media.