Good Startup, a Singapore-based venture capital firm that invests in companies that aim to eliminate animals agriculture from the food system, said on Thursday that it raised USD 25 million, marking the first close of its Good Protein Fund I.
The fund has invested in six startups that produce lab-grown meat, namely Eat Just, TurtleTree Labs, Avant Meats, Rebellyous Foods, Cultured Decadence, and Novel Farms. These companies hail from the United States, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Good Startup plans to back 32 companies, with a ticket size ranging between USD 250,000 and USD 1 million.
Good Startup wants to serve as a bridge between continents. “Our advisory board comprises industry players from the US and Asia, with expertise in animal welfare, agriculture, engineering, venture capital, and alternative proteins, which can offer our portfolio companies with the right knowledge and mentorship to grow, scale, and expand,” Good Startup managing partner Gautam Godhwani told KrASIA.
Godhwani believes that demand for plant-based meat is rising in Asia, but companies need to preserve local tastes and ingredients for their products to fit a diverse market. “Asia has a wide range of its own indigenous cuisine, so consumers want different types of meat rather than what is popular in North America,” he said. “The continent will see strong innovation in categories such as seafood and pork that are made with local ingredients.”
Although prices of alternative proteins are high, they have been consistently becoming lower. This trend will continue until it reaches price parity, which will significantly increase demand, Godhwani predicts. “Currently, companies are catering more to niche consumers,” Godhwani said. “Many are willing to tolerate a near-term price premium to create diversity in their diet, eat more plants, and try novel foods.”
Singapore is well-poised to be a global hub for innovation in the industry, where dozens of startups have emerged, supported by VCs and accelerators. It was the first country to approve the sale of cultured meat when it gave Eat Just a green light to sell lab-grown meat to the public.
“The Good Protein Fund hopes to make an impact via the reduction of carbon emissions, land and water use, deforestation, species extinction, and animal slaughter while improving human health overall,” said Godhwani.