Lever’s program-related investment work, launched in 2020 to provide critical early financial and strategic support to new alternative protein companies in China, has continued to help new startups grow.
Over the past year, Lever has provided that key early support to eight more promising young companies. Shanghai- and Jiangsu-based ingredients company Hyplant received its first external funding from Lever. The company produces unique functional ingredients, made from soy protein peptides that improve the texture of plant-based meat and the nutrition of plant-based meat, snacks, drinks and other foods. Lever also provided support to Good Food Technologies, a plant-based meat company with operations in Shenzhen and Hong Kong that makes products designed for Chinese culinary applications. The company, which has developed a proprietary plant-based fat technology, has launched its products into hundreds of 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong and is in the process of expanding into mainland China. Lever also provided early backing to NewDay Farm, an innovative Jiangsu-based cultivated pork company co-founded by a prominent researcher who is a director at China’s leading academy of scientists.
In the plant-based dairy and eggs sector, Lever supported Marvelous Foods, a plant-based yogurt and dairy products company based in Shanghai that has since landed accounts with several prominent retail chains including ALDI. Lever also provided first external funding to iDAMA, a Guangzhou- and Hong Kong-based company selling plant-based ice cream and frozen desserts. iDAMA’s products have since entered hundreds of Hong Kong 7-Elevens, and the company is currently expanding into southern mainland China. Lastly in China, Lever helped launch and provided first funding to dairy- and egg-free desserts and baked goods company Greenice Foods, based in Shanghai.
The past year also saw Lever expand its program-related investment work to Southeast Asia, providing financial and other support to startups in that region for the first time. Meatless Kingdom, an Indonesian plant-based meat company with strong early sales traction and pricing structured to be as close as possible to the cost of conventional meat, was the first company in the region to receive investment support from the Foundation. Lever also provided backing to MAD Foods, an innovative Singapore-based plant-based dairy company.
Lever will continue to seed and support promising new entrepreneurs disrupting Asia’s animal protein market.
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