Global VC fund Big Idea Ventures (BIV), which runs a food accelerator in Singapore, said today that Swiss plant equipment manufacturer Bühler Group has made a strategic investment in its New Protein Fund.
The fund aims to invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant- and cell-based companies worldwide.
Temasek is also an investor in New Protein Fund.
“Together, we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and ultimately, the planet. Bühler and BIV will work together to build great companies responding to consumer demands for great-tasting food that is good for them and good for the planet,” said Andrew D. Ive, Founder of BIV.
Plant-based foods have been gaining more recognition in recent times after the success of popular companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
The sector is predicted to reach US$14.32 billion by 2025 with growing venture capital interest in the plant-based protein market, especially during the recent outbreak of COVID-19.
The pandemic has also provided a surprise opportunity and boost to the plant-based industry as a significant number of people begin to switch from animal-based to plant-based proteins due to health and environmental reasons.
Ian Roberts CTO of Bühler recognises this problem and addresses his concern on the urgent need for collaboration with companies to bring more impactful and sustainable solutions when it comes to food supply.
“There is an urgent need for wide-scale collaboration if we are to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges within the next decade,” he said.
“Academics, startups, and established companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food. This is why we are partnering with Big Idea Ventures: to accelerate the journey for promising startups, to reinforce partnerships and startup ecosystems in Singapore and the US, and to do this with a clear focus on creating a more sustainable food supply for the future,”.
Bühler also has a joint innovation facility in Singapore that focuses on developing sustainable protein-based products and provides a one-stop-shop for the development and scale-up of new products for the market.
BIV has also participated recently in a community-led charity fundraising campaign to raise about 50,000 meals for those in need by offering mentoring and virtual classes to startup founders affected by the COVID crisis.