Sydney-based All G Foods has secured a new multi-million dollar investment from supermarket giant Woolworths's (ASX: WOW) venture capital fund W23 less than six months after it closed a $15.5 million seed round.
The alternative protein start-up, founded by CEO Jan Pacas, who is also chairman and co-founder of ASX-listed online pet care marketplace Mad Paws (ASX: MPA), will look to benefit from Woolworth’s existing logistic networks to ensure more of its protein-packed and earth-friendly plant-based food is available on supermarket shelves.
The Australian start-up uses a foundational technology called precision fermentation to develop dairy proteins that can be included in milk and other "cow-free" dairy products.
“The W23 investment into All G Foods provides an incredible opportunity to partner with Australia's most prominent leader in the retail landscape,” All G Foods founder and CEO Jan Pacas said.
“Our ambition is to make great-tasting and nutritious products that meet the growing consumer demand. As we rapidly scale, it’s important for us to partner with a VC that has unparalleled access to distribution, assets and capabilities.
“W23 has established itself as a leading strategic VC in Australia, and we’re delighted to call them a partner.”
The new investment follows a $15.5 million seed round in September 2021 backed by high-profile investors, including the Clean Energy Innovation Fund (CEFC), Ellerston Capital, Triple Star Capital - a Singapore-based PE firm, David Shein and Geoff Levi - founders of Our Innovation fund, Monash Capital and Peter Andrews - CEO of Andrews Meats.
The latest capital injection stems from Woolworths Group’s venture capital and growth fund W23 and is the second time the fund has invested in a plant-based meat alternative in the past 12 months. In July 2021, the fund was among several investors taking part in a $3.5 seed funding round in Sydney-based startup Harvest B.
"At W23, we invest in innovative startups led by visionary founders, and we’re interested in backing the next wave of food innovators in Australia," W23 managing director Ingrid Maes said.
“All G Foods is at the forefront of new alternative protein production techniques and is setting out to build a global business that can help feed a growing population.
“We’re excited about the potential of All G Foods' emerging technology and ambitious growth plans.”
Love BUDS Burgers, made from 100 per cent plant-based ingredients, was All G Foods’ first product range launching across 300 retail outlets in September 2021 and is now available in hundreds of retail food stores.
Additional alternative protein options under development include plant-based mince, sausages, nuggets and bacon.
Precision fermentation has the potential to disrupt food and consumer product markets by combining the process of fermentation with precision biology to construct specific, customised molecules that make food and other consumer products taste, feel and perform better.
“At All G Foods, our microflora is reprogramed and encoded with dairy protein DNA sequences, taken from a digital database that contains structural information of protein-DNA complexes—and not directly from an animal, to create dairy protein-producing microflora,” Pacas informed Business News Australia.
According to the Food Frontier Report more than one in three Australian consumers, are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption. By consciously substituting meat with plant-based protein alternatives, Pacas believes there could be enormous benefits to the planet.
“Plant-based alternatives are important not only because we need to produce 60 per cent more food to feed the world population of 9.3 billion in 2050 (estimated by the Good and Agriculture Organisation) but because it helps reduce the impact on the climate,” Pacas said.
“If 7.6 billion of us ate one more plant-based meal or snack a week, we’d save trillions of litres of fresh water, cut millions of CO2 from the atmosphere, save millions of animals every day and not to mention reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and cancers.”
Pacas is delighted to grow the number of investors in the business and believes the business is well-positioned having partnered with several leading organisations.
“At All G we are passionate about Australian made and have joined the global innovation linkage project under Sydney University’s lead to identify the future plant-based proteins of Australia, so local farmers can be a part of this growing opportunity,” Pacas added.
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