China-focused Dao Foods International announces its China Venture Fund will invest in 30 Next-Gen Good Food Ventures over the next three years. With this latest move, the impact investor is making progress with its plans to lay the foundation for a plant-based industry in China as discussed in an interview with vegconomist in May.
Dao Foods is a key player in the new protein revolution which is gradually undergoing in China; the company has not only invested in the fastest-growing Chinese plant-based startup, Starfield, which recently received $10 million in investment funding, but also set up its Dao Foods Incubator to support entrepreneurs in the alternative protein sector and demonstrate the far-reaching opportunities it offers for China.
Dao Foods Venture Fund 1, including leading Chinese investors like VC firm Matrix Partners China, was established to support and invest in 30 China-focused alternative protein and cell-based product ventures. Aside from early stage seed capital, Dao Foods also plans to provide incubator companies with in-kind support and mentoring, especially in terms of how to make plant-based products more appealing to mainstream meat-eaters.
Though Dao Foods anticipates that most of the Incubator companies will be China-based entrepreneurs, it also plans on recruiting a small number of international ventures that have prioritized China as a key part of their market strategy.
According to Dao Foods, the success of the American plant-based market, in particular the historic IPO success of Beyond Meat, where its stock prices soared 163% on the first day, was a wake-up call for the Chinese investment community. While two years ago it was still difficult to talk to investors, this has now changed fundamentally.
“We believe that the growth we have witnessed in alternative protein sector in the U.S. over the last few years will soon be repeated in China and are excited to work with New Crop Capital, Matrix Partners and other visionary and impact-oriented investors to accelerate investment in China-focused entrepreneurs who aim to increase the availability of great-tasting plant-based and alternative protein products in China,” said Albert Tseng, co-founder of Dao Foods International.