Asia continues to move forward in the FoodTech industry as Indonesian plant-based alternative startup Green Butcher secures $2 million in seed funding led by Singaporean tech-concentrated venture capital firm Teja Ventures and global food system investor Unovis Asset Management. Earlier this month, DealStreet Asia reported that the SavEarth Fund of James and Suzie Cameron, Phi Trust, C4D, and several individual investors also took part in the round.

The startup plans to utilize the fresh capital by expanding its research and development team, and scaling its production capacity to “launch into mainstream retailers by Q2 2021.” Green Butcher aims to turn a profit within the year and grow 10 times faster than it did in 2020.

The Jakarta-based startup was founded by vegetarian couple Max Mandias and Helga Angelina in 2020. Being the first meat alternative company in the country, Green Butcher aims to further set itself apart by highlighting Asian flavors in the products, such as Chick’n Satay, Chick’n Karaage, Beefless Chunks, Beefless Rendang, and Shroom Balls.

However, this isn’t the vegetarian couple’s first venture into the plant-based industry. Max and Helga also founded Burgreens in 2013. The plant-based food chain has multiple branches across the country and offers meal plans for customers. The food chain is also backed by Teja Ventures.

There have been quite a few developments for meat alternative startups across Southeast Asia. Hong Kong-based OmniFoods has expressed its intention of entering the Southeast Asian market within 2021. In December 2020, California-based Eat Just, backed by Horizon Ventures and Temasek Holdings, made history by being the first alternative meat product to be approved by the Singapore Food Agency. Eat Just’s GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken debuted at Singapore’s 1880.

Last September, Singaporean Shiok Meats concluded its Series A round with US$ 12.6 million to boost its cell-based meat business. Malaysian Phuture Foods finished its seed round back in 2019 for its plant-based meat. With its own take on plant-based meat, Singaporean Karana raised US$ 1.7 million in a seed fund round.

Teja Ventures founding partner Virginia Tan weighs in on the growing appeal of meat alternatives in Asia: “Given Asia’s rising preference for plant-based food. We see Green Butcher’s potential to be the leading consumer brand for plant-based food tailored to the Asian palate and with significant cost and supply chain advantages.”

ORIGIN 2020 | Big opportunities for plant based food