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plant-based whole egg substitute by Float Foods
Float Foods founder Vinita Choolani holds a sunny-side-up OnlyEg - her company's plant-based whole egg substitute. Image credit: Float Foods

Plant-based whole egg startup Float Foods gets Temasek grant

March 15, 2021

Float Foods, a Singaporean startup that’s developing a plant-based egg substitute, has received an undisclosed amount of grant funding from the Temasek Foundation.

The Foundation is the nonprofit, philanthropic arm of Singapore sovereign investment fund Temasek.

“The response to what we have achieved, in less than a year, amidst a global pandemic and bootstrapped for the most part, has been incredible on every level,” founder and CEO Vinita Choolani said in a statement.

Float Foods — which was founded by serial entrepreneur and former sales and marketing exec Choolani in June last year — will use the project development grant to commercialize OnlyEg, its plant-based whole egg replacement. It will also work on enhancing the product’s formulation to improve its nutritional potential and extend its shelf life.

OnlyEg is produced from legumes and offers “as many proteins and vitamins” as a chicken egg, the startup claims. It comes as a two-part product including substitutes for both egg white and egg yolk.

This is what differentiates OnlyEg from the growing number of competitors offering plant-based egg analogs on the market, according to Float Foods. The inclusion of a separate white and a yolk means that OnlyEg can be cooked in largely the same way as their chicken-laid counterparts – including preparations like fried sunny-side-up, or soft boiled, where the distinction between white and yolk is central to the dish.

The closest available rival products to OnlyEg are liquid blends that can only be cooked in ‘mixed’ formats such as scrambled eggs or omelettes – or used in baking where separation of white and yolk is not required. (One of these rivals is Just Egg, produced by US-based Eat Just – which made history in Singapore last year by securing the world’s first regulatory approval for a ‘lab-grown’ meat product, and is also constructing a $100 million plant-based protein factory in the city.)

Float Foods argues that the ‘whole egg’ nature of its substitute also contributes towards Singapore’s ’30 by 30′ food security goal of domestically sourcing 30% of the city-state’s nutritional needs by 2030 – up from around 10% today.

“We aim to ensure that our product is not just comparable to a chicken egg in taste and texture, but on a macro-level, we aim to contribute to our country’s ambition for a sustainable food ecosystem that can be witnessed by Singapore’s future food plan,” Choolani said.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) identified eggs as one of three critical foods, along with fish and leafy greens, that would be the focus of its S$30 million ($22.3 million) ’30 by 30′-linked grant program launched last April to boost the country’s agrifood industry.

“There is a need to put in place ways to cushion any potential disruption to the supply of staples such as eggs. Our support for Float Foods complements more comprehensive efforts by the government and the local food production industry to shore up food security,” Lim Hock Chuan, chief executive of the Temasek Foundation’s sustainability-focussed Ecosperity program, said in a statement.

“OnlyEg’s plant-based eggs taste and look like chicken eggs and contain nutrition equivalent to chicken eggs. We look forward to seeing these plant-based eggs on supermarket shelves not just in Singapore but internationally.”

The project development money for Float Foods was awarded under the Temasek Foundation’s Ecosperity Innovations Grant scheme. Through its various programs, the Foundation seeks to fund and support ideas and innovations that can “bring about impactful improvements to the liveability of our world, especially in cities,” it says.

Float Foods expects to commence manufacturing OnlyEg in Singapore in early 2022, with the product hitting supermarket shelves later in the year. The startup is in the process of raising further pre-seed funding.

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