This Singapore Startup Uses AI To Make Indulgent Foods Healthy. It’s Now Got $3M To Scale Up.

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Singapore startup Hoow Foods uses AI and machine learning to create healthier formulations of your favourite foods. From desserts to condiments and drinks, the company’s smart platform finds the right novel plant ingredients to make its nutritious replacements. It’s now secured S$3 million in a pre-Series A round of funding, which will help the firm scale and launch more products on the market. 

Hoow Foods, a Singapore-based food tech, has just raised S$3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Farquhar VC and joined by Trive Ventures. Founded by four National University of Singapore (NUS) graduates, the homegrown startup is behind Re-Genesys, a platform that optimises the nutritional profiles of your favourite foods using novel food ingredients. 

With fresh funds, Hoow says it plans to “embark on its next stage of commercialisation” within Singapore and regional markets, and create more healthier-for-you indulgent foods. 

Re-Genesys: using AI to create healthier foods

Products formulated using Hoow Foods’ Re-Genesys platform. (Image: Hoow Foods)

Hoow, founded back in 2018, developed a smart platform to search for ways to make consumers’ favourite indulgent foods healthy. It uses a database containing information on food ingredients and their physicochemical properties to figure out how to formulate sustainable and healthy products that are still delicious and tasty. 

The startup says that it has created more than 20 prototypes, including functional ingredients and off-the-shelf products that can replace fat and sodium in foods. They’ve also made healthy vegan-friendly premixes for baked goods. 

Currently, the brand’s tech has contributed to making 10 food products sold under Singapore’s heritage brand Killiney. Around 1.5 million cups of Re-Genesys-formulated beverages have been sold to date. 

Hoow Foods uses its AI platform to create healthier baked goods and premixes.

Launching new products 

Armed with fresh funding, Hoow says it can now work with more brands and food producers to create and commercialise new products. It plans to partner with global food corporations and FMCG chains to jointly develop healthier replacements for desserts, drinks, snacks as well as pantry staples. 

“This fundraising round enables us to spin-off commercially viable products into individual subsidiaries and joint ventures,” shared Hoow Foods co-founder and CEO Ow Yau Png. 

“Whether you have a pre-existing health condition, are vegan, or just a health-conscious consumer, there should be alternative choices of foods for everyone without compromising on quality and taste,” Ow continued. “We have developed exactly such game-changing products that can directly improve consumers’ dietary needs.” 

Asia expansion

Hoow Foods co-founders Dr Sherman Ho (L), Yau Png Ow (C), and Wang Qun Xiong (R). (Image: Hoow Foods / NUS)

In addition to launching more products in Singapore, Hoow also plans to enter new markets within the Asian region. It comes as Asian consumer priorities increasingly shift towards health, nutrition and immunity amid the pandemic. 

Read: Health concerns and food security to drive plant protein shift in Asia – Report

“The on-going pandemic has taught us many lessons and changing the way we eat to be healthier and sustainable is key,” said Ow. 

For lead investor Farquhar VC, the rising awareness over health and nutrition is precisely the reason why Hoow is poised for growth. The firm’s CIO Jason Su described the startup’s smart platform as a “game-changer” that would create appealing products for health-conscious consumers. 

“It allow[s] decadent foods to be enjoyed by more people without the guilt, thanks to their ability to reduce or replace the unnecessary calories, fat and salt within these food items,” said Su. 


Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.


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