Malaysia-based food tech startup Manis Leting, which produces healthier alternative food products with zero white sugar, plans to export to neighbouring countries besides expanding its offerings, its Co-Founder said.

“We are planning to get halal certification for our Timi Syrup so that we can approach well-establish cafes. We are also planning to export to neighbouring countries and planning to expand our business by producing other food products such as ready-to-drink, sports drink, sauces and other household products,” Atirah Danial told TechNode Global in an interview.

Timi Syrup is a syrup sweetener produced with zero white sugar and also with lesser calories than normal syrup used in cafes.

She said the company plans to prioritize business-to-business (B2B) segment.

“We will be focusing on Timi Syrup. Once our brand is well known, we will continue our business-to-consumer (B2C) segment which is with our cordials, sweetener droppers and sweetened condensed milk,” she added. “Our business model for Timi Syrup would be B2B. We will be dealing with cafes and distributors.”

“We are targeting cafes, restaurants and bars because they use high volume of syrup sweetener. We are currently a small company, once we are stable enough, we would love to establish our brand and hit the B2C market segment.”

Manis Leting is one of the winners in the 1337 Ventures’ Alpha Startups Pre-Accelerator Demo Day. 1337 Ventures is a VC firm in Malaysia focused on early-stage start-ups, assisting them through every growth phase. The VC firm organizes quarterly Startups Accelerator program.

The food tech firm produce sweetener products in a bid to help the food and beverage industry to reduce the use of white sugar. Manis Leting will receive pre-seed funding of up to MYR50,000 (US$10,969).

Atirah said the funding received will be used for certifications, patent submission, producing samples to be given out to cafes, marketing as well as operations.

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with people with the same goals as us as well as other entrepreneurs. We do see that maintaining production as well as customer relationships could be a challenge in the future. However, we plan to ensure it will be prioritized when the business is up and running.”

1337 Ventures Founding Partner Bikesh Lakhmichand explained the potential the VC firm sees in Manis Leting.

“It is a known fact that diabetes and obesity is a problem plaguing not only Malaysians, but Southeast Asians. Coupled with the rise of cafes in Malaysia, together with an increase of health-conscious consumers, we believe the timing is ripe for Manis Leting’s patented zero sugar formulation for their café syrup,” he told TechNode Global.

Unlike other sweeteners in the market, Bikesh said Timi Syrup is able to mimic the same recognisable taste, while having 30 percent less calories than alternatives, and even without a premium in cost. “We believe that with the right timing and solution, we will be able to help Manis Leting grow quickly,” he said.

“Our main plan is to help them move from [having]’a product to a business’. This is through professionalizing and putting in place systems to optimize their operations and financials, together with creating efficient go-to-market strategies through B2B sales and partnerships,” he added.

Manis Leting and Triphie tops the 1337 Ventures’ Alpha Startups™ Pre-Accelerator