- Eat Just has raised $25 million from China-focused private equity firm C2 Capital Partners, whose anchor investor is e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
- The investment and partnership — C2’s first in the alt-protein space — will support Eat Just’s business roll-out in China, including its go-to-market strategies, sales, branding, and regulatory approach.
- Eat Just says it has also had “preliminary conversations” around regulatory affairs in China for its GOOD Meat division, which is developing cultivated meat and is currently the only company in the world to have actually sold that type of alt-protein to consumers (in Singapore).
Why it matters:
Eat Just’s plant-based egg brand JUST Egg landed in China in 2019 via e-commerce platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall.com. Eat Just says since then it’s steadily grown its business, mostly in Shanghai.
The strategic partnership with C2 is arguably more about Eat Just’s cultivated meat division, GOOD Meat, and its potential growth in the Chinese market. Eat Just is currently the only company in the world to have gained regulatory approval to sell cultivated meat, which it does in nearby Singapore. However, the company said in a statement it has had “preliminary conversations with Chinese officials” regarding regulatory approval for cultivated meat there.
China named cultivated meat as a key area for research and development in the country in its most recent Five-Year Plan that’s responsible for setting the country’s long-term economic goals. At the time, Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick called the initiative ‘one of – if not the – most important policy actions in the history of alternative proteins’ and said it ‘could accelerate the country’s regulatory timeline for cultivated meat.’
Plant-based meats proteins were also included in China’s Five-Year plan.