Plant-Based Pioneer Green Monday Raises US$70M In Record Breaking Round
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Green Monday, the Hong Kong-headquartered plant-based group, has just announced it has raised US$70 million in financing, marking the largest of its kind to date in Asia. It has also recently been named on Fortune Magazine’s annual Change the World list this year, which comprises companies that are tackling society’s unmet needs. Since its inception in 2012, Green Monday has been a pioneer of the plant-based movement in Asia, from making vegan and vegetarian foods accessible through its Green Common stores to developing OmniPork, the pork mince analogue that took the world by storm to distributing iconic plant-based brands like Beyond Meat.
Green Monday today (September 22) announced that it has raised US$70 million in investment led by TPG’s The Rise Fund and Swire Pacific Limited, representing the largest round of its kind to date in Asia. Participation from other institutional investors include CPT Capital, Jefferies Group and Sino Group’s Ng Family Trust. The round also drew new angel investment from Room to Read founder John Wood and renowned artist Wang Leehom, adding to the group’s growing list of high-profile backers, including James Cameron, Mary McCartney and Susan Rockefeller.
“We are delighted to be partnering with global leading institutions and investors who share our vision and are aligned in solving some of the planet’s most imminent challenges like climate change, public health and food crises not only here in Asia but also worldwide,” said David Yeung, co-founder and CEO of Green Monday. “Now with TPG’s The Rise Fund, Swire Pacific and our other mission-aligned partners, we are another step closer to achieving our common goals.”
According to the company, the capital injection will be used to ramp up its R&D efforts to expand its line of plant-based food products, increase production, distribution and supply chain as well as scaling-up its retail footprint and partnerships with existing F&B brands. Within the next 6 months, Green Monday plans to establish a presence in over 20 markets across the world, increase its point-of-sales to over 40,000 and launch its flagship stores in mainland China and Singapore.
The eye-popping round is by a long shot Asia’s largest in the region’s burgeoning alternative protein industry and cements Green Monday’s position as leader of the meatless food movement. The funding injection is for Green Monday Holdings, the group’s operational arm that includes OmniFoods (maker of food tech products such as OmniPork and Green Common (retail, F&B and distribution). The news did not specify a valuation for the privately held group.
Now with TPG’s The Rise Fund, Swire Pacific and our other mission-aligned partners, we are another step closer to achieving our common goals.David Yeung, Co-Founder & CEO of Green Monday
“Green Monday is one of the first movers in Asia within the rapidly growing global plant-based protein market,” said Chang Sun, managing partner of TPG China, in a press release. “We look forward to working with David and his team to further develop Green Monday’s product offering, expand their reach, and deepen the consumer’s strong connectivity to Green Monday’s mission towards a more sustainable future.”
With Swire on board as a key investor, it is likely that there will be more milestone partnerships ahead in the future between Green Monday and Cathay Pacific, following its initial debut on the airline’s selected flights last year. Alluding to potential collaborations to be announced, David Cogman, development director of Swire Pacific, said: “Our airline Cathay Pacific has been serving OmniPork onboard and we look forward to working together further to develop new menus to suit the taste of our passengers – many of whom have a deep interest in health, wellness and environmental sustainability.”
“We are also in discussion about working together on the retail front: we have a network of malls, hotels and food and beverage businesses in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, as well as associated supply chain operations across the country,” Cogman added.
It comes shortly after it was revealed yesterday (September 21) that Green Monday has been selected as one of the 50 companies to make it on the Change the World list, ranking in at 32 and the only Hong Kong based company to appear on the list. This year marks the sixth year of Fortune Magazine’s Change the World list, with 2020’s honourees emphasising the “crucial corollary” of collaboration as the world faces unprecedented challenges, from our ongoing coronavirus pandemic crisis to global inequality and the climate emergency.
Our airline Cathay Pacific has been serving OmniPork onboard and we look forward to working together further to develop new menus to suit the taste of our passengers – many of whom have a deep interest in health, wellness and environmental sustainability.David Cogman, Development Director of Swire Pacific
In a social media post, Green Monday said: “We are honoured to be listed amongst leading organisations that have made a positive social impact through their innovative business strategy. We share this recognition with all change-makers behind Green Monday, and to every one of you who has been supporting our mission to ‘Make Change Happen, Make Green Common’.”
“It is surreal to see our name next to Alibaba, Alphabet, BlackRock, Microsoft, Salesforce, Grab, Zoom,” said Yeung in an Instagram post. “I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to each and everyone who has supported us over the past 8+ years. We will continue to work hard to make the maximum impact, as our planet cannot wait!”
Since its founding eight years ago, the Green Monday Group is credited for leading the plant-based movement in Hong Kong and across the Asian region. Driven by its core mission to inspire healthier eating habits and transition the world into a food system that leaves behind a smaller footprint on our planet, Green Monday has opened up more nine retail stores in Hong Kong, expanded its distribution footprint in multiple countries including Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Canada and mainland China through the e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall.
In 2018 the group created a meatless pork alternative, Omnipork—a green breakthrough in a nation that consumes over 50% of the world’s pork. OmniPork debuted in mainland China via Alibaba in 2019, and Green Monday has partnered with the likes of Taco Bell and White Castle as well as local restaurants to expand its footprint.Fortune Magazine
Beyond making plant-based products accessible to more consumers, the group’s advocacy arm works on engagement and education of the benefits of a plant-based diet, but perhaps its most famous legacy is its development of the iconic vegan pork mince made from pea, rice and soy protein and shiitake mushrooms, OmniPork, under its food tech venture OmniFoods.
“In 2018 the group created a meatless pork alternative, Omnipork—a green breakthrough in a nation that consumes over 50% of the world’s pork. OmniPork debuted in mainland China via Alibaba in 2019, and Green Monday has partnered with the likes of Taco Bell and White Castle as well as local restaurants to expand its footprint,” wrote Fortune Magazine.
Two years after launching the groundbreaking vegan pork alternative, Green Monday launched OmniPork Luncheon, the world’s first vegan version of the famous canned processed meat often known as Spam, the Hormel Foods’ brand name, as well as OmniPork Strip, a plant-based version of julienned pork meat that is widely incorporated in dishes across different Asian cuisines. It also made headlines in Hong Kong for its partnership with Wanchai Ferry, the most iconic frozen dumpling brand in the region owned by General Mills, to launch OmniPork dumplings at price parity with the conventional meat version – a true feat in the challenge to make plant-based foods affordable and accessible to the masses.
It isn’t the first time that Green Monday has won awards for its role in accelerating the much-needed transition to a more sustainable, healthier and crisis-resilient food system. Earlier this year in January, the group was named by PETA as Asia’s Company of the Year for 2019 for its work on “inspiring people to choose vegan options, which is the best thing that everyone can do for animals and the environment” and in 2018 Yeung was recognised as an Ashoka Fellow and as World Economic Forum’s Social Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Lead image courtesy of Green Monday.