Recent data from the PBFA and GFI revealed that plant-based eggs grew 168% in 2020, nearly ten times the rate of poultry eggs. India’s Evo Foods was thus clever and lucky enough to have selected the fastest-growing plant-based category, which saw dollar sales surging 192% between 2019 – 2020, outperforming both Oatly and Beyond Meat. Evo’s recent pre-seed round is reportedly one of the largest ever by an early-stage food startup in India.
The global egg replacement market was worth $966 million in 2016 and is estimated to reach $1373.4 million by 2023, so a list of high profile investors including Ryan Bethencourt’s Sustainable Food Ventures, Michiel Van Deursen‘s Capital V, VegInvest, and Dr. Sandhya Sriram of Shiok Meats have been keen early investors. New investors in this round include Stephanie Downs of Material Innovation Initiative, Sweden’s Kale United, and members of the US- based Glasswall Syndicate.
A billion eggs are produced every year in India alone. One kilo of egg production emits more CO2 than one kilo of chicken production and one egg contains a cholesterol equivalent of three Big Macs. Should this not be reason enough to completely disrupt this cruel industry, in developing nations such as India, antibiotics are routinely used in poultry farms as a substitute for sanitation which is giving rise to the biggest health emergency of the world: antibiotic resistance.
Evo Foods was founded in 2019 by Kartik Dixit and Shraddha Bhansali, on a mission to disrupt and revolutionize the poultry egg industry using their proprietary patent-pending technology and local Indian ingredients such as mung beans and peas. Evo Foods says it is one of the few companies in the world which has reached price parity with multiple animal egg categories across geographies.
“In the US currently the average price of plant-based eggs is 184% higher than the price of animal-based eggs. This is where EVO can capitalize on the demand by providing high quality and affordable plant-based eggs,” said Co-founder Bhansali.
Evo is aiming to launch via food service and has already partnered with multiple restaurants across India to launch it as a part of their menu in the second quarter. The company is also in discussions with multiple big QSR chains for a massive launch by the end of this year and plans to launch in overseas markets by 2022. This year, the company received PETA India’s most innovative company award.
The majority of the funds will be used for the Indian market launch, building the R&D and marketing team and expanding in the category to prepare for overseas launch in 2022.
Kartik Dixit said of the news: “I started Evo Foods when I was 24 with the sole vision of creating an animal-agriculture free world by the time I reach 40. We aim to leverage the immense crop biodiversity of India, an amazing talent pool and state of the art research and technology to completely remove animals out of the food chain by offering consumers nutritious, delicious, affordable and sustainable alternatives. Evo is an embodiment of the role India is going to play in the global alternative protein sector. In a couple of years, we want to see Evo from a local Kirana shop in Pauni, a small town in India where I am originally from, to a Michelin starred restaurant in New York City. We are absolutely thrilled to have received support from such a stellar group of believers and investors.”
Ryan Bethencourt of Sustainable Food Ventures commented: “I had put a personal cheque before in Evo and we are glad to fuel this passionate team again through Sustainable Food Ventures as they launch and create the largest clean protein company of India and consequently the world!”