Growthwell eyeing geographic expansion

Growthwell eyeing geographic expansion

Fledgling Singapore-based meat- and seafood-alternative supplier Growthwell Group, which wants to expand geographically, has suggested it could look for more external funding as part of plans to enter China.

Growthwell is a co-manufacturer of plant-based protein products and markets its own meat and seafood substitutes in its home market.

Last spring, Growthwell received investment from Singapore state fund Temasek and itself invested in Israeli start-up ChickP, which has developed a "90% chickpea protein isolate" for use in alternative-protein products.

Speaking to just-food, Justin Chou, Growthwell's executive director and son of founding MD Chou Shih Hsin, said the company was looking to enter Thailand and Taiwan – and had China on its list of new markets.

"We are expanding our presence in south-east Asia, so Thailand and Taiwan are two core markets we're going to enter, through joint ventures, investments or acquisitions," Chou said. "We will continue to expand our reach in south-east Asia. We definitely have plans to enter China sometime at the end of the year or early next year."

Chou and his family remain "significant shareholders" in Growthwell and he said the company still has a "decent runway" remaining from the Temasek-led funding round announced last April.

However, he added: "As we position or decide to enter a market like China we will definitely look into fundraising, so that we have enough resources to enter a very competitive and very big market like China. While we scale and grow in south-east Asia whatever funding we have internally is sufficient but, once we have decided to make a step into China, I think we will definitely fundraise for such an expansion."

just-food interview: "We want to be Asia's leading plant-nutrition company" – Growthwell Group's Justin Chou on how Singapore alt-protein firm plans to grow