The startup is Japan’s version of the popular US-headquartered plant-based meat company Impossible Food, which announced last week that it raised about $500 million in its latest series F funding round.
In a statement, Daiz said the funding round, which brings the total funds it raised to date to $11 million, was also participated by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Fund Corporation for Innovation and Value-chain and Expansion Japan (A-FIVE).
The Kumamoto-based startup develops and produces soybean-derived meat ingredients that it calls Miracle Chip. The fresh funding will be used to expand Daiz’s production capacity to up to 3,000 tons per year and boost the research to bring the taste of its plant-based meat closer to real meat.
The company said it uses its proprietary technology to encourage the germination of soybeans before puffing up the beans through an extruder to create the texture and elasticity of real meat.
The company plans to mainly sell to major food manufacturers and distributors in Japan, with eyes on global expansion in the future. Daiz also announced its plans to build one of the largest plant meat factories in the country, in Kumamoto Prefecture next year.
Even as the Series A funding round has just recently been closed, the startup disclosed that it will raise another round by the end of 2020. It also aims to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Market.
According to the United Nation’s World Population Estimate 2019 report, the global population is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, which will result in what Daiz describes as a “protein crisis”.
“Plant meat is attracting attention as an alternative protein, and the market is expected to exceed ¥9 trillion (about $84 billion) worldwide,” Daiz said.