Singapore’s Sirius Venture backs $8m Series A in Israeli foodtech Genie Enterprise

Couscous. Photo: Pixabay

Singapore-based venture capital firm Sirius Venture Capital has backed an $8-million Series A funding round in Israeli foodtech firm Genie Enterprise, which has invented an automated computer-controlled cooking device.

In a statement, Sirius said the latest funding round for Genie was led by Carl Marks, a merchant banking firm in the US. The funds, it added, will provide Genie Enterprise with additional resources to bolster its infrastructure in Israel.

Funding will also boost its R&D activities and enable it to expand to new geographies, according to the statement.

“This investment will serve as a gateway for us to access Sirius’ well-established network in the broader Asian market, as we navigate new business cultures and culinary preferences within the region,” said Doran Marco, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Genie Enterprise.

Genie, the company’s computer-controlled cooking device, is capable of producing affordable, tasty and preservative-free dishes from pre-sealed pods within minutes, the startup said. The cooking device uses proprietary technology and algorithms to cook freeze-dried and dry ingredients in a patented cooking system.

Ingredients of restaurant-quality meals are contained in a pre-sealed pod with unique barcodes. The barcode provides the cooking system an indication of how it should cook the meal, as each meal is cooked using various cooking processes specially designed for the ingredients in it.

When a pre-sealed pod is inserted in the cooking device, the meal will be prepared using a pre-programmed proprietary sequence. Genie is currently available in Israel and Australia.

“With this round of financing, Sirius is the only venture capital firm in Asia to join a group of co-investors in reinventing traditional food preparation practices in the home and cooking sector using smart kitchen systems,” said Sirius’ founder and managing director Eugene Wong,

Wong noted that the global food industry is garnering more attention than before, especially agrifood technology, which experienced new record level of venture investment in 2017.

“New technologies and ingredients will shape how food is prepared and placed on our table. Increasingly, food trends will embrace the notion of sustainability, convenience, and health,” he added.

Sirius Venture has been investing in biotech and foodtech startups recently. In February, it made a strategic investment in Israel foodtech startup SuperMeat, which raised $3 million. Wong said the global food revolution is imminent and that food-tech holds the answer to the future of food.

“Our plan is to invest in a high-growth startup that will shift the food industry and reinvent dietary habits in the near future,” Wong said.

Also Read:

Singapore’s Sirius Venture backs $3m round in Israeli food-tech startup SuperMeat

India and China are on two ends of foodtech funding spectrum

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.