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Image credit: V2food

Impact investors, Chinese tech giant join V2food’s $53m Series B extension

August 5, 2021

Alt-protein startup V2food has secured €45 million ($53.3 million) funding in a “Series B-plus” round led by Belgian impact investor Astanor Ventures.

V2food, which claims to be the Asia-Pacific region’s “most funded alternative protein company,” says it has now raised a total of €92 million ($109 million) since the first close of its Series B round in October 2020.

Also participating in the Series B extension were Temasek-linked impact fund ABC World Asia, China Renaissance affiliate Huaxing Growth Capital, and Main Sequence – the VC arm of Australia’s national R&D agency CSIRO, which helped to launch the company based on its own research.

An unnamed strategic investor, described by V2food as “China’s leading e-commerce platform for services,” joined the Series B-plus tranche.

AFN believes — but cannot yet confirm — that this may refer to ‘super app’ Meituan. The Hong Kong-listed company has described itself with similar language in marketing communications – and, given that it’s China’s top restaurant delivery platform, its involvement would make a lot of sense.

V2food said that Astanor is its first European investor. The funding will help the company launch in Europe and expand its presence in Asia.

“We’ve drawn upon the best food, nutrition, and sustainability science from CSIRO to develop a sustainable and nutritious product, with an unmatched texture and flavor,” said V2food CEO — and former Pepsico research exec — Nick Hazell in a statement.

“This is an important step towards V2food’s goal of transforming the way the world produces food. There is a big shortfall between the amount of meat we produce today and the amount needed to feed the growing global population […] It’s imperative that we scale quickly because these global issues need immediate solutions.”

The Australian plant-based protein maker produces a range of burgers, sausages, and ground ‘meat’ made from legumes. It says it “addresses its products directly [to] ‘flexitarians,’ who want to enjoy meat, without the negative environmental consequences.” V2food also claims its “revolutionary production process” means its plant-based products can be manufactured in “any standard meat production facility,” thereby overcoming some of the problems of scale.

Hendrik Van Asbroeck, partner at Astanor, told AFN that his firm decided to invest in V2food because “they are focused on quality, scalability, and health.”

“Astanor sees in V2food an ideal partner to help accelerate the transition away from animal protein for the millions of flexitarians who are searching for a sustainable, healthy, eco-friendly alternative to meat. Their technology and production process allow them to expand into new markets quickly, while maintaining high standards of quality and minimal environmental footprint,” he said.

“[Our] investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership to help V2food expand into the European market. As Europe’s largest agrifood tech investor [we are] ideally placed to accompany V2food through this transition, from advising on strategy to approaching local consumers, helping understand local regulations, and providing connections with Astanor’s extensive industry network.”

This is a breaking story. AFN will update this article as necessary.

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