India is fast turning into an ecosystem conducive for emerging alternate protein food businesses, post COVID-19 outbreak.
The latest news from the alternate protein sector is that global VC investor Big Idea Ventures and Kolkata-based financial services conglomerate Ashika Group have partnered together to kickstart the Alternative Protein Fund & Accelerator to empower innovative Indian entrepreneurs in the alt protein space, launched online at The Good Food Institute India’s Smart Protein Summit 2020.
The India Alternative Protein Fund will launch and run an accelerator in 2021, and will also support promising companies with further investments for growth in the Indian and international markets. It will support businesses that innovate plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated meat, seafood, egg, and dairy foods. It will provide Indian entrepreneurs with funding, mentorship, as well as access to their local and global network across the supply chain, while GFI India will offer its expertise and advice.
Speaking about the fund, Big Idea Ventures’ Founder & Managing General Partner Andrew D. Ive, said, “We believe we can help dozens more entrepreneurs in India to launch their alternative protein dream and build a thriving plant-based global industry.”
BIV worked with GFI India for more than a year to assess investment opportunities in India and Ashika Group will manage the investment fund. BIV and Ashika Group have started raising a $25 Million fund for India, and expect to begin accepting applications for the Mumbai-based accelerator in 2021.
The accelerator fund was launched on virtual Smart Protein Summit 2020
Together, they hope to help numerous startups in India’s alternative protein sector raise funding and scale up their innovations. BIV runs a $ 50 Million international fund and two accelerators in New York and Singapore. It is one of the investors of Mumbai-based food tech company Evo Foods which is developing a plant-based egg alternative. Evo Foods got its first angel investment earlier this year and the launch of it’s liquid egg substitute is around the corner.
Good Food Institute that is hosting the ongoing virtual summit on smart protein is also helping bollywood stars Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh set up their soon-to-be-launched plant-based faux meat company, Imagine Meats.
Brands like Good Dot and Vezlay already manufacture and distribute ‘mock meat’ products like ‘vegan meat’, ‘vegan chicken’, ‘vegan rogan josh’ and much more. India’s alternate protein space is getting more exciting with each passing day. Throwing light on the same, Good Food Institute India Managing Director Varun Deshpande, said, “Alternative protein is a key lever in our fight against climate change, malnutrition and food insecurity, and public health risks. It’s also a huge opportunity for business and job growth, with participation across the board from governments, large food and animal meat companies, and entrepreneurs. This fund is a big step forward in that momentum, and we are glad to support Big Idea Ventures and Ashika Group towards our shared goal of a more healthy, sustainable, and just food system.” The alternative protein sector is burgeoning and its global market value is expected to be worth $17.9 Billion by 2025. Watch this space for more!
Pssst… GFI is hosting a free, virtual symposium exploring the role of fermentation in the alternative protein industry on 20 October.
Feature photo courtesy: Gooddot