Better Bite Ventures Focuses on Funding Startups in the Alternative Protein Segment, Indonesia Enters Main Target Market
Currently funding 10 startups in Asia Pacific, Green Rebel is the first portfolio in Indonesia
In discussing environmental degradation, UN scientists stated that raising animals for food is one of the main causes of urgent environmental problems in the world. Equivalent to global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Analysis from Johns Hopkins University shows that alternative protein products can save up to 93% of greenhouse gas emissions, 89% of water and 98% of land use, compared to conventional animal protein.
Based on these issues and potentials, a venture capital company that focuses on supporting Asia Pacific early stage startups (APAC) in the alternative protein sector "Better Bite Ventures" announced the launch of a $15 million fund under management. The company's mission is to support early-stage founders developing important climate-friendly alternatives to animal protein in what it describes as the 'world's largest food market'.
The company targets to invest in 20-30 companies in Asia Pacific. This investment will focus on reaching stage companies pre seed and seed with a value range of $200-$700 thousand. The managed fund is also supported by investors impact leading fund managers for advanced companies, conglomerates, and food and technology entrepreneurs from Asia, the US and Europe. The biggest LPs come from Southeast Asia.
Better Bite Ventures was founded by Michal Klar and Simon Newstead, both of whom have strong backgrounds in the alternative protein industry with over 20 years of experience including running Future Food Now and podcast Startup Vegans. In addition, they are also active as angel investors in related segments. Starting from a common vision and mission, they decided that it was time to take a step further and focus on building an alternative protein ecosystem in Asia Pacific.
“We are here to invest in founders who dare to build unicorn food technology is Asia's future," said Michal Klar as General Partner. "Now is the momentum for Asia. We believe companies with local insights will take a leading role in this fast-growing market".
In a short interview with the team DailySocial.id, Michal also revealed that this investment is closely related to the overall impact, but also from the perspective of profitability and growth potential.
To date, Better Bite Ventures has invested in 10 regional startups spanning the full range of alternative protein technologies, from plant-based agriculture to supply chain solutions. So far, the funds have been channeled to market-leading solution developers Green Rebel from Indonesia.
Focus on Indonesian market
According to a recent Boston Consulting Group study, the global alternative protein market is projected to reach more than $290 billion by 2035, about 11 percent of the total protein market as a whole, two-thirds of which is thought to be contributed by the APAC region.
The nonprofit Good Food Institute published data showing that more than $3 billion was invested in alternative protein startups in 2020, with APAC startups contributing more than $230 million. The 2021 figures are expected to show even greater growth.
Seeing these numbers, Michal believes the potential for growth in this segment in the future. Michal also mentioned that the amount is only a small part of the total potential. "Basically we believe that this is the right time, the momentum is there, and Asia will grow hand in hand with the rest of the world. This makes us very excited," he said.
He also revealed that Indonesia is one of the largest and most attractive markets in Asia. Apart from his five years of experience living in this country, co-founder the other, Simon, is also of Indonesian descent. Therefore, they feel they have a personal bond with this area.
In addition, Michal also admits that the Indonesian people, especially the urbanites, have a very open mind to adopting new trends. Ten years ago, he said, it was still difficult to find a vegetarian place to eat in this area. Now, many restaurants already offer this menu.
"I think, slowly but surely, consumers are growing. I think there are two things that will drive the industry in this segment. First, consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits in terms of personal health and also the potential for sustainability in this segment," he said.
One of the pioneers in the alternative protein segment in Indonesia is Green Rebel. This pioneering work of the nation's children was founded by Max Mandias and Helga Angelina - a couple of activists for practicing healthy and environmentally friendly eating patterns in Indonesia. They became the first food technology startup in Indonesia to produce plant-based meat and cheese. “Michal and Simon believed in us and our potential from the start, through all the ups and downs” said Helga Angelina, co-founder of Green Rebel.
"One of the most important things we saw at Green Rebel was the local concept on offer. Among the many restaurants that offer alternative protein concepts in a stylish way. western food, Green Rebel comes with a more local approach, using traditional menus," said Michal.