Temasek leads $8m round for plant-based meat player Growthwell

Plant-based meat and seafood maker Growthwell said Monday it raised $8 million in a funding round led by Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek.

Other investors in the round included DSG Consumer Partners, Insignia Ventures, Genesis Ventures, Brandify and Koh Boon Hwee, the company said in a statement.

Growthwell, which has been selling its products in Southeast Asia since 1989, said it plans to use the investment to expand its alternative protein product range and its geographic footprint.

Food tech players hawking alternatives to meat have been seeing increased interest in recent years amid concerns over the impact of livestock farming on climate change and expectations a rising global population requires higher levels of food production.

But the field has grown more crowded in recent years, with the launch of Impossible Foods – another Temasek investment – and Beyond Meat. Agriculture giant Cargill too announced earlier this year it plans to launch rival products using pea and soy formulations.

Country Foods, a subsidiary of SATS Food Services, has been tapped to help scale distribution of the company’s products, Growthwell said.

The company said it plans to open a technology center in Singapore by 2021 to focus on research and development as well as manufacturing of new plant proteins.

The company has also committed to take a “significant stake” in Israeli food-tech startup ChickP in a deal to develop a 90 per cent chickpea-based protein isolate to use in plant-based dairy and meat alternatives, the statement said.

That includes chickpea-protein-based seafood alternatives, called ChickP Squid, ChickP Crab Patty and ChickP Shrimp, which will be gluten-, lactose- and hormone-free, the statement said.

Growthwell’s brands, which focus on Asian cooking styles, include the ready-to-eat Gomama, sauce-maker OKK and mutton-alternative Su Xian Zi.

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.