31 Global


to Watch

The Global Private Capital Association profiled 31 venture-backed foodtech startups developing alternate sources of animal protein across Southeast Asia, India, China, Latin America, Africa and Central & Eastern Europe.

Published November 9, 2021

Industrial livestock production accounts for a disproportionate amount of global land and water use, as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Startups developing alternate sources of animal protein, be they plant-based, cultivated in the lab or insect-harvested, are receiving backing from investors as varied as VCs, strategics, accelerators, family offices and sovereign wealth funds to scale more efficient and humane modes of food production.

Since 2020, foodtech startups across Southeast Asia, India, China, Latin America, Africa and Central & Eastern Europe raised USD279m in venture funding*. Foodtech is a nascent sector of investment in global markets, representing <1% of venture investment from 2020-1H 2021*, but one of potentially outsized impact on food security. View recent foodtech rounds over USD10m. 

*According to GPCA data, venture investment into foodtech startups represented 0.2% of overall VC investment in 2020-1H 2021. Foodtech includes companies leveraging tech to improve upon existing food production or develop novel food ingredients.

These are the 31 global foodtechs to watch

Do you qualify to be on this list? Contact techeditor@gpcapital.org.


Singapore is the first country to approve cultivated meat for human consumption, and Asia is set to lead the world in alternative protein consumption. Cultivated meat production uses stem cell technology (and sometimes, 3D printing) to grow animal tissue, or “cultured meat,” in the lab. Many technologies still require an animal source for the cell line, so they are not technically “kill free,” and production costs are high, but the opportunity is staggering: global meat consumption topped 360 million tons in 2018. While this tech has yet to scale, a University of Oxford study predicts cultivated meat will require dramatically less land and water use as well as GHG emissions over traditional livestock production.

Founders: Carrie Chan (CEO), Dr. Mario Chin (CSO)

Operations: Singapore & Hong Kong

Investors include: China Venture Capital, AngelHub, ParticleX, Lever VC, CPT Capital, Loyal VC, Artesian, 208 Seed Ventures, PTG Food, Good Startup, Vinh Hoan and Markus Haefeli (Regal Springs)

Last known round: Undisclosed (Jan 2021)

Product: Cultivated fish, including grouper and fish maw, sustainable marine peptide (as a personal care product ingredient)

“We position ourselves as a tech company more than a product company. But while we hold a number of patents and do a lot of tech, we recognize the need to launch products in the market so people know what the tech can do. We are progressing from patents to commercialization, and will have our pilot plant ready by the end of 2022.”

Carrie Chan


Founders: Giljun Park (CEO)

HQ: South Korea

Investors include: NAU IB Capital, BNK Venture Capital, DT & Investment, Ryu Kyung PSG Asset Management, JNU Holdings, Yonsei Technology Holdings, Knollwood Investment Advisory, Strong Ventures, Primer Sazze Partners

Last known round: USD4.5m (Jan 2021)

Product: Cultivated meat


Founders: Ziliang Yang (CEO), Ran Liu, Ning Xiang, Binlu Huang

HQ: China

Investors include: ZhenFund, Sky9 Capital, K2VC, Lever VC, Lever China, Purple Orange Ventures, Agronomics, Humboldt Fund, Better Bite Ventures

Last known round: USD4.3m (March 2021)

Product: Cultivated meat

“China is the world’s largest animal meat market and CellX is the pioneer in this market. Support from the government is key as cellular agriculture can help achieve China’s carbon neutrality goals and solve our food security concerns.”

Ziliang Yang

Shiok Meats

Founders: Sandhya Sriram (CEO), Ka Yi Ling (CSO/CTO)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: Woowa Brothers Asia Holdings, CJ CheilJedang Corporation, Vinh Hoan Corporation, Aqua-Spark, SEEDS Capital, Big Ideas Ventures, VegInvest, Mindshift Capital, Impact Venture, Agronomics, Y Combinator, Makana Ventures, AiiM Partners, Ryan Bethencourt, Irongrey, Ilshin Holdings, Entrepreneur First and others

Last known round: Undisclosed (July 2021)

Product: Cultivated seafood

Notable Activity: In August 2021, Shiok Meats acquired Gaia Foods, a Singapore-based foodtech producing lab-grown beef.


Founders: Fengru Lin, Max Rye

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: Green Monday Ventures, KBW Ventures, CPT Capital, Artesian, New Luna Ventures, Lever VC, Eat Beyond Global, Good Startup, K2 Global, Verso Capital

Last known round: USD30m Series A (November 2021) 

Product: Cultivated breast milk (for supplementing formula)

“If we look at human milk, proteins and sugars have a lot of functional applications for gut health and brain development for babies, young adults, adults and geriatrics. We want to push out human milk for humans across the board. One of the first products we want to launch are human milk proteins, which can be added as functional ingredients to existing dairy products to improve their functionality.”

– Fengru Lin


While demand for meat is on the rise in a number of global markets, plant-based alternatives for animal industry products, from plant-based burger patties to plant-based milk and cheese, are growing quickly. From an environmental perspective, the production of plant-based burgers emits ~1% of the GHG emissions that beef requires; plant-based milk emits ~3% of the GHG emissions that cow milk requires; and plant-based chicken emits ~10% of the GHG emissions that poultry requires, according to multiple sources.

Alchemy Foodtech

Founders: Alan Phua, Verleen Goh 

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: SEEDS Capital, Heritas Capital, Bits x Bites, Thai Union, Shin Shin International Holdings, Sunbo Partners, Fuchsia Venture Capital

Last known round: USD2m (March 2021)

Product: Plant-based fiber powder

EVO Foods

Founders: Kartik Dixit (CEO), Shraddha Bhansali (COO)

HQ: India

Investors include: Sustainable Food Ventures, Kale United, Big Idea Ventures, Hearthstone Investments, Seven Hound Ventures, Shaun Neff, Anil Advani, Vaibhav Domkundwar

Last known round: USD850k (April 2021)

Product: Plant-based eggs

Float Foods

Founders: Vinita Choolani (CEO)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: DSG Consumer Partners, Insignia Venture Partners, Apricot Capital, Teja Ventures, Ebb & Flow, Water Tiger Investments, Agrocorp Ventures, Baksh Capital, Innovate 360

Last known round: USD1.7m (June 2021)

Product: Plant-based eggs

Fazenda Futuro

Founders: Marcos Leta (CEO)

HQ: Brazil

Investors include: BTG Pactual, ENFINI Investments, Turin MFO, monashees, Go4it Capital

Last known round: USD58m Series C (November 2021)

Product: Plant-based burger

“My competition is butchers. The mission of the company is to, at some point in the future, make meatpacking plants obsolete.”

Marcos Leta

Green Monday Holdings

Founders: David Yeung (CEO)

HQ: Hong Kong

Investors include: TPG Rise Fund, Swire Pacific, CPT Capital, Jefferies Group, Ng Family Trust, John Wood, Wang Leehom, James Cameron, Mary McCartney, Susan Rockefeller

Last known round: USD70m (Sept 2020)

Product: Plant-based pork

Green Rebel

Founders: Helga Angelina (CEO), Max Mandias (CIO)

HQ: Indonesia

Investors include: Teja Ventures, Unovis Asset Management, C4D Partners, SAVEarth Fund, Phitrust Asia, AgFunder

Last known round: USD2m (Feb 2021)

Product: Plant-based beef & chicken


Founders: Justin Chou (CEO & Executive Director)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: Temasek, DSG Consumer Partners, Insignia Ventures Partners, Genesis Alternative Ventures, Brandify, Koh Boon Hwee, Creadev, GGV Capital, Iris Fund

Last known round: USD22m (September 2021)

Product: Plant-based meat & seafood


Founders: Astrid Prajogo (CEO), Kasih Chen (CTO), Shaowei Liu (CSO), Jenny Zhu (CFO)

HQ: China

Investors include: Lever China Fund, Big Idea Ventures

Last known round: Undisclosed (April 2021)

Product: Plant-based chicken

Heartbest Foods

Founders: Aldo Gonzalez (CEO)

HQ: Mexico

Investors include: Blue Horizon

Last known round: USD2m (2020)

Product: Plant-based milk & cheese


Founders: Vicky Lee (CEO), Edward Weng (President)

HQ: China

Investors include: Lever China, Cremer 

Last known round: USD850k (Oct 2020)

Product: Plant-based chicken & beef

We use high moisture extrusion, which is the state-of-the-art extrusion technology that most of the great plant-based meat companies are using. We are the first plant-based meat company in China to use this technology. Most of the others are using traditional extrusion to make the product, which is called dry extrusion. The difference is like comparing instant noodles with fresh Udon noodles.”

– Edward Weng


Founders: Daniel Riegler (Co-CEO), Blair Crichton (Co-CEO)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: Big Idea Ventures, Germi8, Henry Soesanto, Kevin Poon and Gerald Li 

Last known round: USD1.7m (July 2020)

Product: Plant-based pork

microTERRA Biotech

Founders: Marissa Cuevas, Fanny Villiers

HQ: Mexico

Investors include: Cavallo Ventures, Draper Cygnus, Trellis Road, Climate Capital, SOSV, Amplifica Capital

Last known round: Undisclosed (September 2020)

Product: Binder ingredients for plant-based food, derived from lemna

“The functionality of microTERRA’s lemna ingredients have the potential to replace gums and methylcellulose in diverse types of plant-based food such as meat, seafood and dairy. Plant-based food companies […] are constantly looking for binder ingredients to improve the texture and aspect of their products.”

– Fanny Villiers

Next Gen Foods

Founders: Timo Recker (CEO), Andre Menezes (COO)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: GGV Capital, Bits x Bites, Yeo Hiap Seng, Temasek, K3 Ventures, New Ventures, NX Food, FEBE Ventures, Blue Horizon, Better Bite Ventures

Last known round: USD20m (July 2021) 

Product: Plant-based chicken


Founders: Matias Muchnick (CEO), Karim Pichara Baksai (CTO), Pablo Zamora (CSO)

HQ: Chile

Investors include: Tiger Global, DFJ Growth Fund, ZOMA Lab, L Catterton, General Catalyst, KASZEK, The Craftory, Bezos Expeditions, Endeavor Catalyst, IndieBio, Humbolt Capital, MAYA Capital

Last known round: USD235m (July 2021)

Product: Plant-based meat, milk, ice cream, yogurt

“Our path of commercial execution took three years in Latin America. We want to reduce it to one in the US.”

– Matias Muchnick


Founders: Leonardo Álvarez (CEO), Francia Navarrete (COO)

HQ: Chile

Investors include: Sofinnova Partners, Bimbo Group, ICL Planet

Last known round: USD10m (August 2021)

Product: Functional proteins for human consumption, including antioxidant proteins, emulsifying proteins, food shelf life extenders


Founders: Alexander Kiselev (CEO), Sergey Dodonov, Anton Sharikov

HQ: Russia

Investors include: Lever VC, Phystech Ventures

Last known round: USD1.5m (July 2021)

Product: Plant-based protein

Yeyo/Marvelous Foods

Founders: Athena Zhu, Christiana Zhu

HQ: China

Investors include: Lever VC

Last known round: Undisclosed (2019)

Product: Plant-based yogurt

YouKuai Group

Founders: Franklin Yao (CEO)

HQ: China

Investors include: TRIREC, Thibault Villet

Last known round: USD7.3m (May 2021)

Product: Plant-based pork


Insect farming is emerging as an alternate source of protein for animal feed, largely replacing the use of fishmeal, while startups like Cricket One are also producing insect protein for human consumption. The production of insect protein tends to utilize organic waste as feed, reducing landfill waste, and does not require land-clearing or significant GHG production. GPCA has seen recent investment activity in markets as diverse as Vietnam, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Chile and Kenya.

Cricket One

Founders: Bicky Nguyen (Business Development Director), Nam Dang (Operations Director)

HQ: Vietnam

Investors include: 500 Global, Masik Enterprise, Corecam Capital Partners

Last known round: Undisclosed (Nov 2020)

Product: Cricket protein powder, cricket burger patty

“Cricket is the most sustainable protein. To produce the same amount of beef, cricket consumes 10x less feed, 100xless GHG, 100x less time, 200x less land, and 2000x less water.”

Source: Cricket One


Founders: Adan Mohammed (CEO)

HQ: Kenya

Investors include: ShEquity

Last known round: Undisclosed (Oct 2020)

Product: Insect protein for animal feed & fertilizer

Food for the Future (F4F)

Founders: Cristian Emhart (General Manager)

HQ: Chile

Investors include: Kayyak Ventures, FOs of Patricia Angelini and Andrónico Luksic, multifamily office Inversiones Moncuri and LDG Inversiones

Last known round: USD4.5m (June 2021)

Product: Insect protein for fish feed


Founders: Tim van Vliet (CEO), Michael Badeski

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: ADB Ventures, Loyal VC, INSEAD Asia Angels Club

Last known round: USD1.3m (August 2021)

Product: Insect protein for fish feed

INSEACT is strategically positioned in the Asian market, home to almost the entire global production of farmed seafood. With the increasing cost basis of outdated fish and shrimp farming practices, we are receiving snowballing demand and plan to achieve industrial-scale insect protein production in record time.”

Tim van Vliet


Founders: Marc Bolard (Executive Managing Director), Xavier Marcenac (Executive Director)

HQ: Bulgaria

Investors include: Chivas Venture, New Vision 3, Morningside Hill Capital Management

Last known round: ~USD4.7m (July 2020)

Product: Insect protein for fish feed, pet feed & fertilizer

Nutrition Technologies

Founders: Nick Piggott (co-CEO), Tom Berry (co-CEO)

HQ: Malaysia

Investors include: Openspace Ventures, SEEDS Capital, Hera Capital, Nullabor, Alpha Founders Capital

Last known round: USD5m (March 2021)

Product: Insect protein as a fishmeal alternative for animal feed & fertilizer

With a team of 150 people, comprising insect experts, engineers and manufacturing professionals, Nutrition Technologies has now become the leading player in Southeast Asia, and one of the few players globally to build an industrial-size insect protein production facility.”

View a case study on Nutrition Technologies in GPCA’s Emerging Tech Trends in Southeast Asia.


Founders: Leo Wein (CEO)

HQ: Singapore

Investors include: Seeds Capital, Roslin Technologies

Last known round: USD1.6m (July 2020)

Product: Insect protein for fish feed, pet feed & fertilizer


Founders: Lindsay Stradley, Ani Vallabhaneni, David Auerbach

HQ: Kenya

Investors include: Novastar Ventures, Mani Kapital, Kepple Africa Ventures, AXA Investment Managers, JICA, Acumen

Last known round: USD2.5m (October 2021)

Product: Insect protein for animal feed & fertilizer