India’s Greenest Closes Pre-Seed Funding Round As It Readies for South Asia’s Plant-Based Expansion
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India-based plant protein brand, Greenest, has secured an undisclosed pre-seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures, and India’s Food & Agri industry veteran, Sachid Madan.
Known for its affordable plant-based protein products and partnerships with food service leaders in India including Burgrill, Wat a Burger, Chocolate Room, Biggies Burger, Freshmenu, and Eatfit, Greenest will use the funding to continue its research and development and expand its team, products, and distribution.
Greenest’s earliest product was plant-based Shami kebabs back in 2020. Early investor and former JM Morgan Stanley India Rajeev Chitrabhanu said founder & CEO Gaurav Sharma impressed him from the get-go. “When we met Gaurav, he stood out as a founder and his mission to create a clean label, affordable plant protein portfolio was something we have been seeing as a trend internationally,” he said.
The future of food in India
“We are elated to have closed our pre-seed funding with a brilliant set of investors. Better Bite Ventures is backing some of the most phenomenal startups in this space and we are delighted that they have chosen Greenest to be a part of their international portfolio,” Sharma said in a statement.
According to Greenest, India’s plant-based protein market is expected to reach between $400 and $450 million within the next five years. The company also says the country is well positioned to help service the growing international plant protein market. The company launched the country’s first plant-based meat burger, The Green Meat Pounder, last year, as part of a collaboration with Burgrill across all locations.
“At Better Bite we strongly believe in the long-term potential of the alternative protein sector in India,” Michal Klar, General Partner, Better Bite Ventures said, adding that Greenest is a pioneering company in India.
“They have been introducing consumers to their products by partnering with many progressive restaurants and chains. Building more sustainable ‘smart protein’ market in India has started and we cannot wait to see Greenest’s contribution,” Klar said.
Madan brings support as former CEO for ITC’s Fresh F&V and Frozen Foods Business and his work with Unilever and Conagra as well as policy reform.
Unlocking the plant protein opportunity
According to Madan, unlocking the potential of plant-based protein in India is going to be the biggest and most rewarding challenge in the food and agriculture space. “Achieving this requires focused hard and smart work and a long-term horizon. In Greenest I saw a shared understanding of this opportunity, a focus on unit economics and an ever-learning and patient approach.”
“With [Madan’s] deep understanding of the Indian consumer and his solid track record of building profitable businesses in the past, we are geared to unlock the Indian plant protein opportunity and expand the market with our unique strategy,” Sharma said.
“This funding moves us a step closer to helping build a more equitable food system where we have smarter and more sustainable ways to satiate human needs rather than have animals on our plates.”
Lead image courtesy of Greenest.