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Last week a select group of 20 employees and guests gathered at an event space on the San Francisco Bay, and, while looking out at the Bay Bridge, dined on a selection of choice elk sausages, Wagyu meatloaf and lamb burgers — all of which were grown from a petri dish.

The dinner was a coming out party for Orbillion Bio, a new startup pitching today in Y Combinator’s latest demo day, that’s looking to take lab-grown meats from the supermarket to high-end, bespoke butcher shops.

Instead of focusing on pork, chicken and beef, Orbillion is going after so-called heritage meats — the aforementioned elk, lamb and Wagyu beef to start.

By focusing on more expensive-end products, Orbillion doesn’t have as much pressure to slash costs as dramatically as other companies in the cellular meat market, the thinking goes.

But there’s more to the technology than its bougie beef, elite elk and luscious lamb meat.

“Orbillion uses a unique accelerated development process producing thousands of tiny tissue samples, constantly iterating to find the best tissue and media combinations,” according to Holly Jacobus, whose firm, Joyance Partners, is an early investor in Orbillion. “This is much less expensive and more efficient than traditional methods and will enable them to respond quickly to the impressive demand they’re already experiencing.”

The company runs its multiple cell lines through a system of small bioreactors. Orbillion couples that with a high throughput screening and machine learning software system to build out a database of optimized tissue and media combinations. “The key to making lab grown meat work scalably is choosing the right cells cultured in the most efficient way possible,” Jacobus wrote.

Orbillion is co-founded by a deeply technical and highly experienced team of executives that’s led by Patricia Bubner, a former researcher at the German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim. Joining Bubner is Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, a former director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, who was a post-doc at Berkeley with Bubner and serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Rounding out the senior leadership is Samet Yildirim, the chief operating officer and a veteran executive of Boehringer Ingelheim (he actually served as Bubner’s boss).

Orbillion Bio co-founders Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, CTO; Patricia Bubner, CEO; and Samet Yildirim, COO. Image Credit: Orbillion Bio

For Bubner, the focus on heritage meats is as much a function of her background growing up in rural Austria as it is about economics. A longtime, self-described foodie and a nerd, Bubner went into chemistry because she ultimately wanted to apply science to the food business. And she wants Orbillion to make not just meat, but the most delicious meats.

It’s an aim that fits with how many other companies have approached the market when they’re looking to commercialize a novel technology. Higher-end products, or products with unique flavor profiles that are unique to the production technologies available, are more likely to be commercially viable sooner than those competing with commodity products. Why focus on angus beef when you can focus on a much more delicious breed of animal?

For Bubner, it’s not just about making a pork replacement, it’s about making the tastiest pork replacement.

“I’m just fascinated and can see the future in us being able to further change the way we produce food to be more efficient,” she said. “We’re at this inflection point. I’m a nerd, I’m a foodie, and I really wanted to use my skills to make a change. I wanted to be part of that group of people that can really have an impact on the way we eat. For me there’s no doubt that a large percentage of our food will be from alternative proteins — plant based, fermentation and lab-grown meat.”

Joining Boehringer Ingelheim was a way for Bubner to become grounded in the world of big bioprocessing. It was preparation for her foray into lab-grown meat, she said.

“We are a product company. Our goal is to make the most flavorful steaks. Our first product will not be whole cuts of steak. The first product is going to be a Wagyu beef product that we plan on putting out in 2023,” Bubner said. “It’s a product that’s going to be based on more of a minced product. Think Wagyu sashimi.”

To get to market, Bubner sees the need not just for a new approach to cultivating choice meats, but a new way of growing other inputs as well, from the tissue scaffolding needed to make larger cuts that resemble traditional cuts of meat, or the fats that will need to be combined with the meat cells to give flavor.

That means there are still opportunities for companies like Future Fields, Matrix Meats and Turtle Tree Scientific to provide inputs that are integrated into the final, branded product.

Bubner’s also thinking about the supply chain beyond her immediate potential partners in the manufacturing process. “Part of my family were farmers and construction workers and the others were civil engineers and architects. I hold farmers in high respect… and think the people who grow the food and breed the animals don’t get recognition for the work that they do.”

She envisions working in concert with farmers and breeders in a kind of licensing arrangement, potentially, where the owners of the animals that produce the cell lines can share in the rewards of their popularization and wider commercial production.

That also helps in the mission of curbing the emissions associated with big agribusiness and breeding and raising livestock on a massive scale. If you only need a few animals to make the meat, you don’t have the same environmental footprint for the farms.

“We need to make sure that we don’t make the mistakes that we did in the past that we only breed animals for yield and not for flavor,” said Bubner.

Even though the company is still in its earliest days, it already has one letter of intent, with one of San Francisco’s most famous butchers. Guy Crims, also known as “Guy the Butcher,” has signed a letter of intent to stock Orbillion Bio’s lab-grown Wagyu in his butcher shop, Bubner said. “He’s very much a proponent of lab-grown meat.”

Now that the company has its initial technology proven, Orbillion is looking to scale rapidly. It will take roughly $3.5 million for the company to get a pilot plant up and running by the end of 2022, and that’s in addition to the small $1.4 million seed round the company has raised from Joyant and firms like VentureSouq.

“The way I see an integrated model working later on is to have the farmers be the breeders of animals for cultivated meat. That can reduce the number of cows on the planet to a couple of hundred thousand,” Bubner said of her ultimate goal. “There’s a lot of talking about if you do lab-grown meat you want to put me out of business. It’s not like we’re going to abolish animal agriculture tomorrow.”

Just as the pandemic was starting to hit last year, Hailey Swartz and Jason Rosenbaum, co-founders of Actual Veggies, took their idea for plant-only burgers to the Healthy Food Expo in New York.

It was March 2020.

“It was probably the last trade show in the U.S. before COVID,” says Swartz, president of Actual Veggies, a brand now known for its non-GMO verified vegan burgers. “It was our first foray and literally the last event we went to.”

That’s when Rosenbaum, CEO of Actual Veggies, and Swartz met the founder of Revolution Gelato, an organic, dairy-free gelato, who told them to apply for Big Ideas Venture Accelerator in New York. Applications were due two weeks later.

“We applied on a whim,” Swartz says.

They had never shipped their burgers before.

“At that time, our formula wasn’t binding,” Swartz says. “It basically arrived at the door of the general partner looking like soup. The message we got back was ‘It looks like the U.S. soccer team kicked it all the way across the country. Not eating this.’” It felt like a missed opportunity.

“The coolest thing is they still took us on,” Swartz says. “They really believed in the vision and believed in our pain.”

Soon, Swartz and Rosenbaum found themselves in the second cohort of Big Ideas Venture Accelerator’s $50 million New Protein Fund, which focuses on alternative-protein companies who make products or develop ingredients to be used in plant and cell-based protein alternatives and technologies. By the end of the year, Actual Veggies had a secured a broker who worked with QVC.

In January, less than a year after launching their company, Joel Davis, chief culinary officer for Actual Veggies, was chatting it up with QVC host Kerstin Lindquist.  Seven and a half minutes later, Actual Veggies sold out of $75,000 worth of inventory.

Here’s what Swartz and Rosenbaum have learned and want other entrepreneurs to know.

How did you get connected with QVC?

Hailey Swartz: Big Ideas Venture Accelerator brought a broker to us who was from QVC. We ended up going with Diane Rubizhevsky, a broker who reached out pretty much at the exact same time. It was on our radar to do later, but it wasn’t something we had thought to do this early.

She reached out in mid-November and we found out on Nov. 30 we were going to be on the Jan. 8 show. So it was really fast and exciting.

Jason Rosenbaum: Diane found us at Pop Up Grocer. They go from city to city and were here for a month and like to feature new products. That was the first time our product was ever on shelves. That was October 2020 in Brooklyn. Diane found us and reached out to me. It was weird timing since we had just been introduced to other brokers a week before. But we went with our gut and felt a connection with Diane so we moved forward with her.

What has it been like to work with Diane Rubizhevsky, who is a well-known broker for QVC?

HS: She’s incredible. We couldn’t have done it without her. Being a new brand, she really helped us navigate everything. She reached out to Jason on LinkedIn and we could just tell her passion for this space. She is genuine and authentic. She’s calm and patient and a really good person to be around. When we talked to her references, all new companies she had taken on right in the beginning and helped them get on QVC. She’s doing something special and helps us along the way.

What did you learn from doing the Pop Up Grocer before going on QVC?

JR: I’ve recently moved to California, but at the time, Hailey and I were both in New York. So we literally were hand-delivering the burgers to Pop Up Grocer. We had to get in an Uber and replenish every single week.

HS: We were told to think of it as a nontraditional retailer, as more of a museum where people come once. But we exceeded their expectations on sales because we sold out and were one of their top sellers. The repeat order rate was higher than they’d ever seen. People were returning two or three times to get our burgers.

How did you prepare your supply chain to make sure you could actually do QVC?

HS: So, there was a minimum that they had expected us to do in sales and that’s what we did. Obviously, there’s a risk if they don’t take on any of that inventory. We’re really lucky that we actually sold out and there’s a waitlist still.

Besides the Pop Up Grocer, it was our first order so it made us get our ducks in a row. It was a crazy time. It was December, so the holidays, in the midst of a pandemic and we went from doing trials with our co-packers to doing a $75,000 run. It was exciting to make it all work. To get the boxes and cartons, order ingredients, to do our whole entire supply chain in a month’s period.

JR: QVC took two of our burgers: the Actual Orange Burger and Actual Black Burger. We had a month and we had to scramble to make sure we had all the ingredients, to do the packing and the boxes to ship in. It was stressful to do our whole entire supply chain in a month’s period.

That’s insane. What’s the minimum order you had to do with QVC?

JR: I believe they said they anticipated we would sell $45,000 worth of goods but we had to hold $65,000 worth of goods. We ended up producing a little more than $75,000 worth of goods and those all sold out. We should have produced more.

How did you manage to get all of that produced so quickly?,

HS: This is why you need an amazing co-packer. Because of trucking during the holidays, it became impossible to get our burgers to our B2C center. So our co-packers in Denver and our distribution center is in New Jersey. And it wasn’t possible to get them there in time, based on the availability of trucks and everything going on with the holidays. Our co-packer turned into a distribution center for a week. Jason went there, printing labels, doing it all and shipping out. It was a really special experience and that’s why you need a co-packer that’s a real partner.

What do you wish you would have known about co-packers before starting?

HS:  Don’t try to make shortcuts with who you work with. For example, we were talking to several co-packers at the beginning. One was a little more expensive than the other ones. But they said they could work with us. The second one said, we can come in at this lower price but they weren’t going to be as hands-on.

We thought we could do it ourselves and went with the one that was a little less hands-on. Of course there was problems with the run. We were sort of taken advantage of and we weren’t helped. And the final product was inedible. We spent all this time and effort trying to make it work with these big guys who weren’t really going to grow with us.

At the end of the day, the money we spent on them, it would have been so much better to go with the ones who we had to go back to from the beginning. As we’re scaling, we’re already getting to a price that is better than the other co-packer.

QVC_2_with_chef_Joel_Davis.JPG.jpgHow did you know the co-packer was the right co-packer? 

JR: We had heard so many nightmares about co-packers. We found out they were the right co-packer by working with another co-packer that just didn’t work out. And we went back to them. It was trial and error. The first one didn’t work out and we went back to them to give these another chance. We decided to pay a little more to work with them and it’s been going smoothly since.

But it’s not an easy process finding a co-packer. A lot of them won’t even talk to small brands because they don’t anticipate the volume to be there.

The fact that we were venture-backed by Big Idea Ventures through that accelerator program really gave us a lot of credibility. We were introduced to co-packers by our investors. It really helped because co-packers have to take a risk on who they’re working with us because as a startup they don’t know how long we’re going to be around. It’s an investment on their part to just get up and running with us. So it’s trust both ways. The co-packer has to believe in what you’re doing.

Can you explain more?

JR: The first co-packers we tried working with, I don’t know if they really believe in what we were doing. They were a co-packer that didn’t make a lot of other products that were related to us, whereas our current co-packer in Denver [Aveno Antiguo], is really deep in plant-based and really believes in that.

HS: The owner of the current co-packer has become an advisor for us in the sense that we get on calls and they’ve had another veggie burger and he’s introducing us to his brokers, different accounts. He has a vested interest in seeing us succeed.

What else is important for other startups and small businesses to know about being on QVC?

HS:  One thing that is good to do is the inserts you can put into a box. It’s probably the first time these customers are going to see your brand. So make them feel part of that community. We included a card that had a direct way to communicate with me with any feedback.  And I was on top of that, if there was a problem or a compliment. Include stuff in the package to make it feel personal and make your customer feel loved.

What was some of the feedback you got from your customers?

JR:  It was kind of like a massive trial. There were tons of people trying our burgers. Not everything we received was positive. What’s great is we were able to react quickly and make changes. Some of the people said the burger wasn’t flavorful enough, it didn’t have enough taste. So our chef was able to go back to the drawing board and make some changes, up the spices and change some vegetables in there. We were able to make those changes at our co-packer. We sold 1,600 packages to 1,600 customers, so we got a lot of feedback. The negative feedback is what helped us the most.

What else did you learn?

HS: The other thing was we had three SKUs, a single pack that was 12 orange burgers and a single pack that was 12 black burgers and a variety pack that was six and six. if you’re going to have a variety pack, over-index on that, at least for the first exposure. I think we ordered equal and we should have ordered four to one. The variety sold immediately. We just didn’t know since we didn’t have any data. But moving forward we will.

What else are you changing next time around?

HS: We wanted to do this the first time, but we just didn’t have the time or resources. But this next time that unpacking experience is going to be even better. The outer box will be branded, it will be our color, it will have branded tape. That stuff to make it feel exciting when you get it.

How quickly did you have to ship out?

JR: We were on a Friday show. And I was out in Denver supervising the shipments, which we started shipping on Monday. So we pretty much got them all out on Monday and Tuesday. They all went two-day air. So customers got them Wednesday or Thursday. It’s a big quick turnaround and you have to be ready.

Alt-protein food tech accelerator Big Idea Ventures (BIV) announced this week that it is now taking applications for its fourth cohort. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, the five-month-long program will take place in three locations this time: New York, Singapore, and Paris.

For these accelerators, Big Idea Ventures looks for companies developing both plant-based and cultured protein products and ingredients. Food tech companies related to the alt-protein space are also encouraged to apply.

Beside $125,000 in cash investment and $75,000 on in-kind investment, chosen companies also get access to coworking space, including test kitchens, for the duration of the program, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities. Companies will also get to interact with BIV’s limited partners, a group that includes AAK, Bühler Group, Givaudan, Tyson Ventures, and others.

Chosen companies will ideally have an initial product already validated through sales and ready to scale. On the program’s website, BIV says it is looking specifically for companies developing plant-based products, cellular ag companies, ingredient creators, and those making enabling technologies.

Because of the pandemic, cohort four will be remote as of this writing. This is a tactic that’s been used by other food tech accelerators over the last year, and a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. For BIV participants, this is actually advantageous, as the organization says companies can leverage resources from all three programs, even if they are only enrolled for one.

Those interested in applying to BIV’s program can do so here. Applications are taken on a rolling basis, which means the sooner the better in terms of turning one in.

New Protein Fund to invest US$200K each in attendees

The story: Big Idea Ventures’s (BIV) New Protein Fund, dedicated to seed- and early-stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies, is accepting applications from startups for its fourth accelerator cohort.

BIV has accelerator offices in New York, Singapore and soon in Paris.

How it will help: In addition to providing US$200,000 investment (US$125,000 in cash and US$75,000 through in-kind benefits), Big Idea Ventures’s (BIV) programme may also choose to invest up to US$3.5 million in top companies.

Duration: Five months.

More about the story: This is part of the fund’s mission to invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant- and cell-based companies worldwide.

Companies that will join the accelerator will also have an opportunity to engage with BIV’s partners, which include AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden; Bel Group, the French cheesemaker; and Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer.

These limited partners and others will help participating companies in partnership, scaling production, co-developing intellectual property, and product improvements.

The New Protein Fund is targeted to raise US$50 million since its launch in 2019.

Global leader in food technology investment Big Idea Ventures is accepting applications from start-ups for its fourth accelerator cohort. BVI is dedicated to seed and early stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies.

Twice a year BVI selects the best alternative protein start-ups to undergo five months of “rigorous and dedicated support”. BIV invests US$200,000 in each company, with $125,000 in cash and $75,000 through in-kind benefits. Following the program, BIV may choose to invest up to $3.5 million in the top companies.

BVI founder and general managing partner Andrew Ive said the goal is to make sure the companies have what they need to succeed at scale. “We help these companies break barriers with product development, scale and distribution, market entry, channel development, pitching and fundraising,” Ive said.

Applications for the fourth cohort will be reviewed on a rolling basis, meaning start-ups can secure investment offers as soon as they apply. Ive explained offers are made on a first come, first serve basis, so spots in the program can be filled before applications close.

BIV has international limited partners participants can access including:

  • AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden;
  • Bel Group, the French cheese maker;
  • Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer;
  • Givaudan, the Swiss maker of flavours and natural food ingredients; and
  • Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods.

These limited partners and others help participating companies identify partnership opportunities including scaling production, co-developing intellectual property and product improvements, Ive said.

For more information click here.

Abby Lyall

Firm:

Big Idea Ventures

Firm Description:

I’m a Vice President at Big Idea Ventures focused on building out our Generation Food platform of funds. I’m currently focused on fundraising and deal sourcing for two funds: Generation Food, a $250M fund focused on Series A and later stage investments, and Generation Food Rural Partners, a $125M fund focused on commercializing university IP in food and agriculture.

 

Location:

New York, NY, USA

 

How long have you been investing?

I’ve been investing since 2016, when I joined Quake Capital Partners as their second employee.

What led you to where you are today? 

While I was at NYU Stern studying Finance and Computer Science, I (accidentally) fell into starting a company– an experience that showed me I wanted to work in the entrepreneurship space. After launching my VC career at Quake Capital, an industry agnostic seed stage fund, I realized that I wanted to do something more mission-driven, and find a way to combine my day job in venture with my passions for human health, animal welfare and fighting global climate change. In July 2019, I joined Big Idea Ventures as an early employee to build out the US presence for our New Protein Fund, investing in pre-seed and seed stage alt-protein startups from across the globe. In October 2020, I transitioned over to the Generation Food side of the business to help our CIO launch an exciting new platform of funds focused on technological solutions to assist large food corporations in meeting their sustainability goals.

 

What types of companies are you looking to invest in?

For the New Protein Fund, we invest in pre-seed and seed stage companies creating plant-based and cell-based replacements for animal products (meat, dairy, seafood, etc.). For the Generation Food fund, we are focused on Series A and later (rounds $10M+) companies focused on solving challenges in four key areas of the food system: water management, food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste.

 

What do you look for in companies and founders?

The most important factor for us is a founding team that is qualified and knows the space, with leaders that are coachable and easy to work with. We also want to see that the company is solving a true pain point for the industry (not a “nice to have”) and has a solution that is highly differentiated from what else is out there. Beyond that, traction in the form of revenues or partnerships is also helpful when assessing a deal.

 

What can you help the VEGPRENEUR community with?

I’m happy to provide advice related to fundraising strategy and how to approach VCs, as well as answer questions on these topics for the Vegpreneur community.

 

How can the VEGPRENEUR community help you?

I would love to meet founders building businesses in the two thesis areas I described above, as well as other mission-aligned investors.

 

Fun fact about you:

I’ve been playing the piano since I was 4 years old!

 

Anything else you would like to share?

I envision a world where we can all find our individual passions and talents to uplift each other and live more connected with each other and the earth. 🙂

To support new and emerging start-ups that develop and produce alternative meat and dairy products, and to create further opportunities to work with some of the most well-known players in the alternative food industry, the AAK Group is part of the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund I invest.

This niche fund focuses on early-stage companies in the plant-based and cell-based meat, seafood and dairy products, as well as the ingredients and technologies that will fuel the growth of these categories.

© Big Idea Ventures

“By combining capital and partnerships, the New Protein Fund I aims to build pioneering companies in the plant, cell-based and alternative protein ecosystem and accelerate their business. With this investment, AAK is getting closer to the prosperous early stage companies operating in one of our most important growth segments. We will also be able to work with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry leaders in the world, ”said Johan Westman, President and CEO of AAK Group.

“We are pleased that AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund, as this will enable us to strengthen our reach in Europe and Asia. The partnership with AAK will provide expertise in ingredients critical to the production of plant and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs, ”said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures.

NEW YORK, March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund, dedicated to seed and early stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies, is accepting applications from startups for its fourth accelerator cohort. With accelerator offices in New York, Singapore and soon in Paris, Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is the global leader in investment in the food technology sector. The New Protein Fund is targeted to raise $50 million since its launch in 2019.

“Twice a year we select the best alternative protein startups to undergo five months of rigorous and dedicated support,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder and general managing partner of Big Idea Ventures. “The goal is to help these companies break barriers with product development, scale and distribution, market entry, channel development, pitching and fundraising. We make sure founders and their teams have what they need to succeed at scale.”

Companies that join will have an opportunity to engage with BIV’s international limited partners which include: AAK, a global provider of plant-based oils headquartered in Sweden; Bel Group, the French cheese maker; Bühler Group, the Swiss food equipment manufacturer; Givaudan, the Swiss maker of flavours and natural food ingredients; and Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. These limited partners and others will help participating companies by identifying partnership opportunities including scaling production, co-developing intellectual property and product improvements.

As the company’s third accelerator cohort is currently under way, applications for the fourth cohort will be reviewed on a rolling basis, giving startups the opportunity to secure investment offers as soon as they apply. This also means that offers will be made on a first come, first serve basis, as spots in the program may be filled before applications close.

Big Idea Ventures invests USD $200,000 in each company, with $125,000 in cash and $75,000 through in-kind benefits. Following the program, BIV may choose to invest up to $3.5 million in the top companies.

The newest office location in Paris will be supported by BIV’s partnerships including Bel Group, Givaudan and the Bühler Group, that will provide companies with scale-up capabilities and growth strategy, mentors, advisors and investors through their European and global networks.

During and post-pandemic, BIV is leveraging technology to conduct the program and offer virtual support to companies. Support is available across BIV’s global network.

Entrepreneurs interested can fill out an application for the accelerator program.

About Big Idea Ventures
Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world’s greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs. Big Idea Ventures develops the most globally strategic funds delivering significant investor returns while addressing real world challenges. BIV is focused on alternative protein with its New Protein Fund, and innovations in the food industry to solve challenges in waste, water use, plastic use and CO2 with its Generation Food Fund. www.bigideaventures.com

Media Contacts
Big Idea Ventures | Worth Sparkman, worth@bigideaventures.com, +1 479 236 0674

Would you like to try nutritious scrambled eggs that are not made using regular eggs? Wondering what we are talking about? Hold on till we reveal more. Without jumping on to labels like vegan or vegetarian, the alternative protein industry is looking at plant-based options for everyday consumers, and one such option is the plant-based egg.

“We are impact-focused entrepreneurs who want to make a change in the way people eat. But because of my hospitality background, I realised that bringing that change would not be easy unless you give them options that are delicious, affordable, and have some benefits. It is very difficult to change habits. That’s when Kartik (Dixit, co-founder) and I started working together. We decided to come up with an egg completely made from plants,” explained Shraddha Bhansali, co-founder, Evo Foods, which is offering “India’s first 100 per cent plant-based liquid egg”.

Eggs are amongst the most prevalent animal-based foods in India, consumed across regions and religions.

 

While Bhansali is a vegan who operates a vegetarian restaurant in Mumbai, Dixit — an environmental vegan (for three years now) — has previously worked in an online grocery delivery platform and cultivated a meat company (where he got familiar with greenhouse emissions owing to animal-based agriculture) before building Evo Foods, a company backed by Shark Tank CEO Ryan Bethencourt and Mark Cuban backed revolutionary pet food company Wild Earth Inc.

What is the liquid egg made of?

The plant-based egg extracts proteins from legumes and other plant sources to “create a clean protein” — resembling a beaten egg — which is touted to be an alternative to the traditional chicken-derived egg.

The liquid egg is made of chickpeas, peas, and mung beans. According to the company, one can use them in recipes like scrambled eggs, omelette, egg rolls, frittatas and more.

“The extracted proteins are processed in the texture of eggs. We wanted to showcase that simple household ingredients can give you the required nutrition wherein 100ml is 12 grams of protein — which amounts to two eggs, which almost equals an organic egg,” Bhansali told indianexpress.com.

EVO Foods,  

The co-founders Shraddha Bhansali and Kartik Dixit with latest product- plant-based eggs. (Source: EVO Foods)

Headquartered in Mumbai, EVO “uses deep food science” and advanced plant biochemistry to “create a sustainable yet delicious evolved egg replica without cholesterol, antibiotics or any animal cruelty”.

Interestingly, the co-founders derived the name of the company by tweaking the Latin word Ovo which means eggs to make it into an “evolved” egg.

 

The product, which has already gained international and local traction, is slated to launch soon in restaurants in Mumbai, followed by Delhi and Bengaluru, before being available for online purchase October 2021 onwards, shared Bhansali, adding that the price range would be similar to regular eggs.

“You can’t use the template of the West when it comes to our eating habits. Eggs are still in an interesting space where some eat them whole, others only in cakes or bread. But eggs are for everyone. We thought it is a great way to introduce Indians to plant-based revolution,” said Bhansali, who was featured in the 30 under 30 entrepreneurs list by Forbes in 2018.

New York and Singapore-based venture capital firm Big Idea Ventures (BIV) and AAK, the Swedish-Danish specialty oils and fats giant, has forged a new partnership to speed up the development of alternative protein ingredient solutions. Investing in BIV’s early-stage food tech fund, AAK will provide capital and its expertise to support the fast-growing cell-based and plant-based meat, seafood and dairy categories.

Teaming up with alternative protein focused venture capital and accelerator BIV, AAK Group plans to support startups developing crucial food solutions and create opportunities for potential collaborations with food industry giants, the Malmö-headquartered company announced on Monday (March 15). AAK will invest in the BIV’s New Protein Fund I, a fund for early-stage startups in the plant-based and cell-based protein, ingredients and technology space.

It will further collaborate with BIV to provide a joint platform to support the growth of the alternative protein sector, especially in the realm of ingredients, where startups can tap into the industry expertise and know-how of the AAK Group, as well as the group’s innovation infrastructure, which includes a newly constructed Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands to open later this year.

AAK’s Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands is set to be operational later this year (Source: AAK)

AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments.

Johan Westman, President & CEO, AAK Group

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem,” commented Johan Westman, president and CEO of the AAK Group.

“With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

Niall Sands, president of plant-based foods at AAK, adds that the investment is part of the firm’s pivot in response to the rising demand from consumers in the wake of the coronavirus, which has brought into light the vulnerabilities and dangers of the animal supply chain and elevated health and immunity concerns.

Singapore Vegan Food Tech Karana Closes US$1.7M Seed Funding
BIV has backed Singapore startup Karana and its natural plant-based meat alternatives made from young jackfruit (Source: Karana)

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong. By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation,” said Sands.

AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.

Andrew D. Ive, Founder & General Managing Partner, BIV

BIV says that the partnership with AAK will accelerate the fund’s global footprint and assist startups who are innovating critical food solutions to meet the food challenges of the future as climate change continues to intensify. Among some of the most promising food techs that the New Protein Fund has backed include India’s plant-based egg startup Evo Foods, Australian carbon neutral vegan “veef” maker Fenn Foods, Singapore-based jackfruit meat alternative Karana, and French cell-based foie gras startup Gourmey.

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia,” commented Andrew D. Ive, founder and general managing partner of BIV. “AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

To support new and emerging start-up companies developing alternative meat and dairy products and to create further collaboration opportunities with some of the most recognised players in the food industry, AAK AB (publ.) will invest in Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) New Protein Fund I.

This niche fund is focusing on early-stage ventures within plant- and cell-based meat, seafood, and dairy products, as well as ingredients and technologies that facilitate the growth of these categories.

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem”, said Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group.

“With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia”, said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures.

“AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Partnering with BIV will give AAK an additional platform to support the fast-growing categories of meat and dairy alternatives. At the end of last year, AAK joined the MISTA innovation platform in San Francisco, USA. In addition, AAK recently announced its establishment of a Plant-based Foods Global Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands, set to be operational later this year.

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong”, said Niall Sands, President Plant-based Foods at AAK. “By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation.”

The investment in the fund has no material impact on AAK’s earnings.

To support new and emerging start-up companies developing alternative meat and dairy products and to create further collaboration opportunities with some of the most recognized players in the food industry, AAK AB (publ.) will invest in Big Idea Ventures’ (BIV) New Protein Fund I.

This niche fund is focusing on early-stage ventures within plant- and cell-based meat, seafood, and dairy products, as well as ingredients and technologies that facilitate the growth of these categories.

“By combining capital and partnership, New Protein Fund I is targeting to build and accelerate future global companies in the plant-based, cell-based, and alternative protein ecosystem”, said Johan Westman, President and CEO, AAK Group. “With this investment, AAK gets closer to prospering early-stage businesses who are active within one of our key growth segments. We will also be able to collaborate with other fund partners and investors, including some of the most important industry front-runners in the world.”

“We’re pleased AAK has joined our world-class corporate partners as an investor in the New Protein Fund as it will allow us to strengthen our reach in both Europe and Asia”, said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and General Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures. “AAK’s partnership will provide expertise for ingredients that are vitally important to the production of plant- and cell-based foods being developed by the world’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Partnering with BIV will give AAK an additional platform to support the fast-growing categories of meat and dairy alternatives. At the end of last year, AAK joined the MISTA innovation platform in San Francisco, USA. In addition, AAK recently announced its establishment of a Plant-based Foods Global Center of Excellence in the Netherlands, set to be operational later this year.

“Driven by an increased focus on health, well-being, sustainability and climate concerns among many consumers, the long-term outlook for meat and dairy alternatives is very strong”, said Niall Sands, President Plant-based Foods at AAK. “By investing in BIV’s New Protein Fund I, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to future food innovation.”

The investment in the fund has no material impact on AAK’s earnings.

BIV has a global footprint with offices and accelerator programs in New York and Singapore, soon also in Paris. Please visit https://bigideaventures.com/new-protein-fund/ for more information on BIV’s New Protein Fund I.

Lorem ipsum | Vietnam | cesiscompany.vn

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