Foodland Ventures, the VC & accelerator built for AgriFood tech founders, has unveiled its latest batch of startups in its 2022 Demo Day held on November 30th. The diverse portfolio consists of 5 teams from Taiwan, Singapore and the US.
Global investment in AgriFood Tech hit a record high with USD 51.7 billion in 2021; however, the need for innovative solutions grows with rising concerns for food security and climate change, as well as the aging workforce in agriculture and aquaculture.
Foodland Ventures, looking to address these challenges on a global scale, has expanded its operations to North America this year, putting key emphasis on helping global startups scale in international markets. The latest cohort includes Lypid in alternative protein, ID Water in smart aquaculture, Calyx in AI predictive poultry farming, Pullulo in upcycled microbial protein and BonchaBio in nutraceutical supplements.
- BonchaBio – Nutraceutical Supplements
- Calyx – A.I. Predictive Farming Solution for Poultry
- ID Water – Smart Aquacullture
- Lypid – Alternative Fat
- PULLULO – Upcycled Microbial Protein
The teams have shown extraordinary performance internationally. Lypid, who’s completed its USD 4 million seed-round early this year, has also collaborated with the largest coffee-chain store in Taiwan while expanding in the US and SEA. ID Water has recently closed its series A round over USD 3 million and is expected to reach USD 260 million in revenue in Taiwan while expanding to SEA and Japan in 2023. US-based Calyx is also expected to reach USD 6.5 million in ARR this year.
In the event, some highlights from Foodland Ventures’ batch 1 portfolio were also put forth – with the total funding of Botrista Technology, automated drinkbot, reaching USD 55 million, cloud-based retail management provider – Kabob Cloud hitting USD 7 million in revenue in 2021, and autonomous restaurant, Yo-Kai Express, expanding rapidly in Japan and the US.
Foodland Ventures’ Co-founder and Managing Partner, Agnes Wang, who has multiple successful foodtech exits stressed that “Although the economic situation worries some, the supply chain hurdles we experienced during covid and growing concerns for the climate crisis and aging population are all pushing food security to be a high-level concern for governments. The demand for innovations that are set to address these challenges will remain high,” she said. Co-founder and Enterprise Relations, Louis Lin, has also emphasized the commitment to bridge more collaborations between startups and industry partners across APAC and North America.
Investor Fireside Chat with AgFunder and Big Idea Ventures: Next Drivers for AgriFood Tech Lie in “Enabling Tech”
An investor fireside also took place at the demo day. Rob Leclerc, Founding Partner of AgFunder, as well as Thomas Mastrobuoni, Chief Investment Officer of Big Idea Ventures took part in the discussion <Global AgriFood Tech Investment Outlook> with Victor Chen, the Founder & CEO of Foodland Ventures.
While discussing the “next drivers” in the AgriFood industry, the 3 panelists pointed to “enabling tech” unanimously. Leclerc pointed out there’s 37 gigatons of carbon emitted annually, and “Where you see an intersection with massive carbon reduction or carbon removal …. somebody applying an enabling solution to that, you could see a lot of pull through innovation.”
Mastrobuoni has also observed similar trends in the alternative protein sector. “We were very consumer focused…, now we’re getting more and more into the technology side, the enabling side,” he pointed out, the examples of which he gave were “precision fermentation systems, growth factors, cellular media and scaffolding technologies.”
When asked about their advice for founders that are raising, Leclerc and Mastrobuoni reiterated the danger of having aspirations that are too high. “You shouldn’t just be thinking about how much money can I get in this round? You gotta think about what the next round looks like.” Leclerc said. On another note, Victor also pointed out that as internal innovations are resource and time-consuming, he remains optimistic about collaborations between startups and corporations, and even the potential of a growing number of M&As.
5 Teams Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change, Food Security and Aging Population
BonchaBio – Making Supplements into Candies
BonchaBio’s vision is for everyone in the world to get their nutrition with ease and joy. They use their deep understanding in biotech to create a revolutionary nutrient nanotechnology delivery system for supplements and help nutritional brands and pharmaceutical companies design and manufacture “candyceuticals” with a low-temperature, low-pressure manufacturing process to achieve the highest possible dosage, bio-activity retention, bioavailability, and high-absorption nutrients. They are now partnering with nutritional brands and pharma companies in several countries to redefine the preventive medicine market and change the way people take supplements.
Calyx – A.I. Predictive Farming Solution for Poultry
Calyx’s mission is to apply advanced bio-materials to create inexpensive and power-efficient sensors for the real-time detection and characterization of a wide variety of airborne chemical compounds. By leveraging genetic engineering and chemical modifications, this turn-key solution is to decarbonize poultry and grow chicken sustainably. They help economically upgrade all animal farms with 20-40% net profit increase and up to 20x ROI.They’re focusing on the North America market and are expected to reach 6.5m USD in ARR in 2022.
ID Water – Scaling Shrimp-Farming with AIoT
ID Water has developed the world’s first smart farming model that integrates water quality monitoring, AI data analysis and IoT automation technology. ID’s unique indoor aquaculture model has significantly increased production capacity, reduced effluent discharge and decreased labor costs. They positioned themselves as a fishery farming maintenance provider and provide one-stop farming services for investors, renewable energy providers, and EPCs to build smart fishery and electricity symbiosis farms that would combine farming and photovoltaics, to increase efficiency and sustainability.
Lypid – Real Juiciness for Plant-based Meat
US-based Lypid is a pioneer in alternative protein solutions. Their signature product, PhytoFat™, is a proprietary line of plant-based fats made from 97% vegan oils and water. It’s a creamy, juicy animal fat analogue that is all-natural and trans fat-free. Currently, there are only liquid forms of lipid molecules available in the market which still require further processing such that they can perform like the intramuscular tissues in a piece of meat. They are not just creating the fats but providing the novel animal fat structures which feature not only lipid composition, but also the fat tissue structures. Their fats can be stable at around 400F which is a superior condition for cookable fat alternatives. They have successfully commercialized their product and are now working with major food chains.
PULLULO – Microbial Protein from Upcycling
Pullulo uses disruptive fermentation technology to upcycle fresh agricultural waste and bi-products from the food industry to create microbial protein with essential amino acids which has high levels of nutritional value as compared to plant-based counterparts and is allergen-free, non-GMO, vegan and Halal. It is produced with a lower production cost as compared to other alternative proteins due to a short supply chain and are less susceptible to supply chain disruptions.
About Foodland Ventures
Foodland Ventures is the VC & accelerator investing in the new generation of food tech founders changing the global food industry with technology. With operations in Asia and North America, we leverage our partnership with leading F&B brands, industry partners, mentors, and investors helping startups fundraise effectively while growing their business.