Dao Foods Announces Investment in Six Alternative Protein Ventures

SHANGHAI, April 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dao Foods International today welcomes its third cohort of China-focused alternative protein ventures under its Dao Foods Incubator initiative. Dao Foods recruited these startup ventures as part of its plan, announced in 2020, to support and invest in 25-30 China-focused alternative protein ventures within three years.

Dao Foods Incubator's third cohort hails from different parts of China and the world, including Zhejiang, Guangdong, Singapore, and Canada. This Cohort consists of a Chinese cell-based meat company, a microalgae protein ingredient company, a plant-based bakery venture, and three cross-border companies with a passion for and a commitment to further developing China's alternative protein sector.  

Dao Foods Incubator's third Cohort includes (in alphabetical order): 

  • Liven Proteins: Liven Proteins is the first precision fermentation company producing animal-free, functional protein ingredients from food industry side streams. A platform technology company, Liven's first product line is an animal-free collagen and gelatin, which help alt-protein foods enhance their nutritional and sensory profiles to match their animal counterparts. The two co-founders received their Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto, and one of them, Fei Luo, is originally from China.
  • Lohas Foods: Lohas Foods develops and produces hyper-realistic plant-based seafood through its three in-house technology verticals of mycelium, novel plant fractions, and clean label additives. Lohas was co-founded by a team of Singapore-based Chinese food scientists and FISH Singapore, a seafood processing and trading company with a publicly-listed subsidiary and distribution network in China.   
  • NewDay Farm: With a cutting-edge tissue and organ regeneration and manufacturing team, NewDay Farm aims to apply more than 20 years of regenerative medicine experience in food innovation, focusing on developing and producing cell-based pork belly for the Chinese market. NewDay Farm empowers the development and large-scale production of cell-based food and animal protein replacement products with two state-of-the-art technologies, low-cost growth media and functional biomaterial-based three-dimensional scaffolds. Professor Dai Jianwu, the founder of NewDay Farm, is an accomplished scientist in regenerative medicine, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences "Hundred Talents Program," and Secretary General of Stem Cell Branch of the Chinese Society for Cell Biology.
  • ProTi Food Tech: ProTi Food Tech is a technology company developing alternative protein food products with microalgae and microbial resources. The company has made technological breakthroughs in engineering algae/strains. It has achieved good technical precipitation in the fermentation and processing technology links, realizing small-scale production, and is now establishing a pilot-scale production line. The three co-founders include two experienced Chinese serial entrepreneurs in the microalgae space and a food science professor specializing in microbial fermentation.
  • Saint Michael Foods: Saint Michal Foods creates great-tasting food and beverages using buckwheat marketed and sold under the BUCK™ brand. BUCK is plant-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO and made from buckwheat with short, clean-label ingredients. BUCK products are currently marketed and sold across Canada, the United States, and Mexico and will soon be in Australia and New Zealand. Peter (Ting) Yupangco, Founder & CEO, and Jason McIvor, Co-Founder & CAO of Saint Michael Foods, are Canadian agriculture tech food innovators. Peter developed a passion for the China market when he was pursuing further study at The University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.     
  • Zero Limit: Zero Limit is a Shenzhen-based company focusing on producing, researching, and developing plant-based bakery products. Zero Limit is committed to creating healthy bakery products that meet the taste expectations of modern consumers in China. The founder of Zero Limit is a senior nutritionist and a young mother of two kids. Her dedication to plant-based baking has been the driving force behind her persistent entrepreneurship since 2018. Zero Limit took the lead in establishing China's first plant-based bakery factory.

"The alternative protein sector is still quite nascent in China," Tao Zhang, co-founder of Dao Foods, said. "Though momentum has been building up in this sector over the past two years, knowledge and adoption of new protein products among mainstream consumers in the country are still not established yet. The game changers will be those entrepreneurs who know how to conquer the stomachs and minds of China's shoppers. We hope that an army of such entrepreneurs can be nurtured and developed via the Dao Foods Incubator to achieve the positive environmental and climate impacts we are working toward in and from China."

Dao Foods has recruited nine startup companies under its China-focused incubator program in Cohorts One and Two. These companies encompass fast-growing products and services, including plant-based ready-to-eat foods, plant-based dairy, plant-based protein drinks for children, herbal protein products, algae-based protein ingredients, cell-based seafood, and mycelium-based proteins. Dao Foods's first investment in China was in Starfield Food and Science Technology Limited, a Shenzhen-based food technology company considered mainland China's fastest-growing and best-financed next-gen plant-based venture. Starfield recently completed its $100M series B financing, and its products have entered over 37,000 restaurants in China. 

Press Contact:
Tim Sprinkle


About Dao Foods International

Dao Foods International, Inc. is an impact investment firm that aims to help entrepreneurs develop exciting alternative protein products in China to reduce the consumer demand for animal agriculture. Dao Foods believes that supporting talented entrepreneurs targeting the 400 million millennials in China with new, exciting, and delicious alternative protein products is a huge business opportunity with massive social and environmental impact. China-based and/or China-focused alternative protein food entrepreneurs contact us at info@daofoods.com.

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