Better Bite Ventures Launches First Alternative Protein Fund Dedicated to Asia Pacific Startups
New venture capital firm Better Bite Ventures launches today with a US $15 million fund, including an initial portfolio of 10 Asia Pacific startups, harnessing plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies to create climate-friendly meat, dairy, egg and seafood alternatives that are better for people, animals and planet.
The fund, first of its kind dedicated entirely to alt protein investments in Asia Pacific, is backed by leading impact investors, growth stage fund managers, family offices as well as food and tech entrepreneurs from Asia, the U.S. and Europe. It invests primarily at founding, pre-seed and seed stages.
The opportunity for impact and growth is significant. Analysis from Johns Hopkins University shows that alternative protein products could save up to 93% in greenhouse gas emissions, 89% in water and 98% in land use, compared to conventional animal proteins. And per Boston Consulting Group, these new products could reach a size of over $290 billion by 2035 (11% of the overall protein market), with two-thirds of consumption coming from Asia Pacific.
Better Bite Ventures was created by Michal Klar and Simon Newstead, two Asia Pacific based operators turned impact investors. With a combined 20 years living plant-based and sector expertise including running the Future Food Now newsletter and Vegan Startup podcast, and a track record of investing and venture building in food and tech, both are keen to help power a new wave of APAC startups.
“We’re here to invest in bold founders building Asia’s future food-tech unicorns” said Michal Klar, General Partner. “Now is the time for Asia – we believe home-grown companies with local insights will take a leading role in this rapidly growing market”.
“Having been founders ourselves, we know how helpful having truly supportive investors can be” said Simon Newstead, General Partner. “Being responsive with founder-friendly terms, a lack of red tape and a focus on long term sustainability, we aim to be a trusted partner right from the start”.
“Michal and Simon believed in us and our potential from the earliest days, through all the ups and downs” said Helga Angelina, co-founder of Indonesian-born plant-based pioneer Green Rebel Foods. “Having their support and advice has really helped as we’ve grown and are now expanding internationally”.
Esha Saxena, co-founder of Australian headquartered human milk cell-based startup Me& also commented “Better Bite were our first check and also helped behind the scenes with our successful follow on round”. She continued “Simon & Michal aren’t afraid to back ambitious projects even at the idea stage”.
“We had a great experience in our pre-seed round – the team was super responsive, flexible and friendly” said Chenfeng Lu, co-founder of China fermentation startup Blue Canopy. “We’re excited to pioneer new proteins for Chinese consumers and we’re glad to have Better Bite as part of the journey”.
The launch portfolio includes emerging leaders in plant-based, cell-based, precision & biomass fermentation and molecular farming from food-tech hotspots China, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia:
- Blue Canopy, working to become China’s leader in mass-market alt protein ingredients using biomass fermentation, co-founded by Chenfeng Lu and Juchuan Zhou
- CellX, China’s pioneering cultivated meat startup, co-founded by Ziliang Yang, Ning Xiang, Binlu Huang and Ran Liu
- Change Foods, founded in Australia and reinventing cheese with precision fermentation technology, co-founded by David Bucca and Prof. Junior Te’o
- Fable Food Co, transforming mushrooms into meat, co-founded by Michael Fox and Jim Fuller, headquartered in Australia
- Green Rebel Foods, South East Asia’s leading plant-based meat and dairy startup, co-founded by Helga Angelina and Max Mandias in Indonesia
- Me&, addressing a large human milk and infant nutrition market with cell-based technology, co-founded by Esha Saxena and Luis Malaver-Ortega in Australia
- Meatiply, developing cultivated poultry out of Singapore, co-founded by Elwin Tan, Jason Chua, Benjamin Chua and Prof. Teh Bin Tean
- Next Gen Foods, makers of TiNDLE plant-based chicken, co-founded by Timo Recker and Andre Menezes, based out of Singapore
- Umami Meats, addressing sustainability issues of seafood by developing cell-cultured fish, founded by Mihir Pershad in Singapore
- …and one stealth molecular farming startup
The Better Bite Ventures team also includes venture partner Sonalie Figueiras, founder of Green Queen Media, an award-winning impact media platform and SourceGreenPackaging, a global marketplace for sustainable packaging. “Having known Michal and Simon in the space for years, I know how switched on and impact driven they are” said Figueiras. “I’m delighted to join as a senior advisor and industry collaborator” she continued.
Better Bite Ventures invites all startup founders in the region, both active and aspiring to get in touch. Now is the time to transform Asia’s food system for the better.