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Australian plant-based food tech v2food will now accelerate its global expansion, after closing AU$72 million (US$54 million) in a Series B Plus round. The round, led by European VC Astanor Ventures, attracted a number of Asian investors, as the company gears up to enter the lucrative mainland Chinese market.
Sydney-based v2food has announced today (August 6) the closing of its AU$72 million (US$54 million) Series B Plus round. Led by European impact VC Astanor Ventures, the round also drew participation from prominent Asian investors including China’s Huaxing Growth Capital Fund and ABC World Asia based in Singapore. The round elevates the food tech’s valuation to over AU$500 million, a jump from the AU$2 million figure from two years ago.
It comes after v2food’s first Series B tranche that attracted AU$77 million, with the latest injection bringing the company’s total investment to date to AU$185 million (US$138 million). Previous investors include Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, and Hong Kong’s Horizon Ventures, the VC under the helm of billionaire Li Ka-shing.
The Aussie plant meat startup says that the funds will accelerate its global expansion, particularly its Chinese market entry. V2food has already introduced its first batch into the country, including a pork-like iteration of its vegan v2mince product.
“The company is speeding up product advancements and scaling up our business footprint. Adding to our existing Sydney HQ, we have officially opened operations in China and appointed our new China General Manager, Cyrus Pan, to build the brand locally across Asia,” said v2food CEO and founder Nick Hazell.
“This round enables us to continue our efforts improving and iterating our products and further grow the company in terms of scale, global competitiveness, and business development.”
The company added that the round attracted investment from a “leading e-commerce platform” in China, which will be key to “connect and distribute products to millions of consumers across its vast network.” China represents the world’s fastest-growing e-retail market, with little signs of slowing down its double-digit growth.
A number of international food techs have taken to tapping the Chinese market through online channels, with Beyond Meat recently landing on JD.com to sell its Chinese market-tailored vegan pork analogue and Eat Just selling its plant-based egg on both JD.com and Tmall.
Other key Asian markets that v2food has already entered include Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea, where its flagship vegan patties are used to make fast-food giant Burger King’s plant-based Whoppers. Burger King in New Zealand and Burger King-franchise Hungry Jack’s in Australia also use v2food’s patties.
The second tranche Series B funds and the addition of Astanor as a lead investor will also fuel v2food’s European entry plans. “We are delighted to bring onboard Astanor and are grateful for the continuous support from our returning investors,” said Hazell.
Hendrik Van Asbroek, partner at Astanor, says that v2food is well-positioned for its next global stage of growth, given the strong “awareness and demand” for alternative, sustainable proteins. “v2food, with its world-class team and scientific expertise, is the right company to deliver this new generation of alternative meat across the globe.”
The latest raise comes shortly after v2food released two new products this year, v2sausages and v2sauce. The firm has also forged its first-ever restaurant partnership with Neil Perry, which will see the Aussie celebrity chef debut a vegan menu at his new Double Bay establishment.
All images courtesy of v2food.