Indonesian-based food tech startup OFF FOODS announced Tuesday its $1.7 million seed funding round led by Alpha JWC Ventures and participated by Global Founders Capital (GFC) and other strategic investors including Creative Gorilla Capital, Lemonilo, and United Family Capital (UFC).

OFF FOODS said in a statement with this fresh seed capital, it plans to invest in its research and development to offer new variations of OFF MEAT, starting with other chicken-like options such as nuggets.

The company will also continue to expand to other cities in Indonesia while also launching a direct-to-customer game plan to reach more users.

Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Dominik Laurus and experienced plant-based businessman Jhameson Ko, OFF FOODS aims to be the leading alternative protein (alt-protein) brand in Indonesia and beyond. The company launched its flagship product OFF MEAT, a chicken-like protein, in August last year and since then the product has seen 10 times growth in adoption through business-to-business (B2B) partnerships with restaurants.

Its products are currently available in seven cities (Greater Jakarta Area, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and Bali) through its partner restaurants which include food and beverage (F&B) franchise chains Gaaram and Wanfan, Jakarta’s fan-favourite Italian restaurant Mamma Rosy, and healthy restaurant and catering FITCO Eats. Additionally, multiple upcoming launches are expected, including with rice bowl chain Mangkokku which boasts 48 outlets, Japanese chain restaurant Zenbu, and burger chain Byurger.

The company has also recently opened a new branch in Bali which is one of the most important plant-based food markets in Indonesia. The company will see more adoption and partnership in the near future as it has high applicability in the kitchen, from fried ‘chicken’ to nuggets to traditional ‘chicken’ sambal matah, offering the large HORECA market in emerging markets a more localised taste and texture compared to alt-products available in the market today.

“Alternative protein took some time to flourish in developed markets due to the premium cost it came with. However, consumers have realized the value of health and environmental benefits that alt-food products bring. Now a revolution is just about to sweep developing markets such as Indonesia and it is an opportune time for OFF FOODS. With its great-tasting products, strong go-to-market strategy, and best-in-class cost structure suited for developing markets, we believe they are in a strong position to bring the alt-protein movement mainstream into Indonesian households,” said Eko Kurniadi, Partner at Alpha JWC Ventures.

OFF FOODS’ rapid expansion comes at a time when the plant-based sector as a whole is expected to reach a staggering $480 billion globally by 2024, according to a recent report from BIS research. The plant protein industry is also expected to continue to grow in Indonesia with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5 percent from 2021 to 2027, representing an increase of around six fold by 2027, according to data taken from Research and Markets.

“We are doing more than just selling food. We are trailblazing a lifestyle change in Indonesia that hopefully will result in a healthier society and more sustainable earth. OFF MEAT and Indonesia are only our starting points. We are pleased to receive such enthusiasm from our new and existing investors, including established experts in the F&B industry, and we are excited to move forward with our product innovation, nationwide expansion soon, and eventually regional expansion in 2024,” said OFF FOODS Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dominik Laurus.

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