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Next Gen Foods co-founders
Next Gen Foods' co-founders: CEO Timo Recker (L) and chief operating officer Andre Menezes (R). Image credit: Next Gen Foods

Data snapshot: Singapore alt-protein startups rule Innovative Foods in Asia-Pacific

November 9, 2022

Data Snapshot is a regular AFN feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder.

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Singapore alt-protein startups currently dominate the Innovative Food category in Asia-Pacific.

Overall, Innovative Food — for which alternative protein is the core segment — garnered $356 million, according to AgFunder’s first-ever Asia-Pacific AgriFoodtech Investment Report.

That momentum has continued in 2022; Singapore alt-protein startups are set to beat 2021’s total thanks to a record-breaking seed-stage transaction and a few other high-profile deals.

Asia-Pacific startups closed a total of 74 deals for the Innovative Food category. China closed 16, closely followed by Singapore with 15 and India with 14.

Image credit: AgFunder

Singapore leads the charge

Singapore’s strength in the Innovative Food category is partly due to the city-state’s government investing heavily in the category.

More than 90% of Singapore’s food is imported, and just 1% of its land available for food production, according to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). Because of this, the city-state must embrace innovative food solutions to bolster its own security in world hampered by fragmented supply chains.

The 30 by 30 goal aims to have Singapore producing 30% of its food locally by 2030. Currently, more than 30 companies in the city-state are developing alternative proteins. Singapore is also the only country to have approved the sale of cultivated meat, which it did in 2020 for US foodtech company Eat Just in 2020.

Singapore looks poised to lead again in 2022. One company, Next Gen Foods, broke records in February with its $100 million Series A round. Turtle Tree Labs, with its cell-cultivated milk, and plant-based food maker Growthwell Group are also names to watch.

Image credit: AgFunder

The rest of Asia-Pacific

Elsewhere in the region, Australia has a leading growth-stage company in V2Food, which landed the biggest fundraise for Innovative Food startups in 2021.

Just three Korean startups closed funding during the year. That includes Zikooin, which makes meat alternatives from upcycled grains. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s Green Rebel Foods is the top-selling plant-based brand.

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