Singapore-based VisVires New Protein (VVNP) has co-led an undisclosed Series A round for Dutch poultry startup In Ovo. The other lead investor is Evonik, a global specialty chemicals company.
According to a statement, the full financing round comes up to “several million dollars”. Investors in the round also include Leiden University, which In Ovo had spun out of.
Founded in 2013, In Ovo develops technology to determine the gender of fertilised chicken eggs. The solution aims to enhance production efficiency and animal welfare in the global chicken industry, where 3.2 billion male chicks are culled each year.
VisVires New Protein founder and partner Matthieu Vermersch said: “Their technology is especially relevant in Asia, the largest egg producers in the world with more than 1.8 billion laying hens. We have witnessed escalating consumer awareness and activism over the years in the region.”
In Ovo plans to use the proceeds to develop a prototype that will speed up the process of analysing and sorting large quantities of eggs. It will also invest in ways to do this more accurately. In Ovo targets to launch its first commercial product in 2020.
Wouter Bruins, co-founder and one of the managing directors of In Ovo, said: “Even before we officially started the fundraising process, the VVNP team proactively maintained a close dialogue with us and played a significant role in shaping our business strategy. Their strong reputation as the go-to fund for food and innovation in the industry and especially for Asia will no doubt be very valuable for us.”
VisVires New Protein is one of the few venture capital firms in Asia with an extremely niche focus – technologies for the global food and feed system. It seeks to identify and back startups solving an array of food-related issues along the entire supply chain.
The Singapore-based fund recently closed its $40-million first fund in June. In a recent interview with DEALSTREETASIA, VVNP shared that it plans to launch a $100-million second fund in 2019.