Green Culture, a Japan-based food business specialising in meat-free products, has raised JPY250m (US$2.4m) in a Series A funding round.

The investors were local food snacks manufacturer Kameda Seika Co. online grocer Oisix Ra Daichi and the Universal Materials Incubator, which led the round.

Green Culture, which develops, manufactures and sells alt-meat lines was established in 2011 as a direct-to-consumer supplier of products, including its flagship Green Meat.

This meat-free mince product, made from soy protein, was launched in the foodservice channel in April.

Green Culture said it is already exporting the product to North America and “other countries” and has plans to ship Green Meat to Macau, Western countries and Australia.

It said the newly-announced investment will accelerate its development of alt-meat products and establish a business foundation to “further popularise this Green Meat in Japan and overseas”.

It added: “Going forward, the funds raised will be used to expand the hiring of sales personnel, strengthen the development system, promote advertising and improve the IT system.”

Green Culture said its business alliance with Kameda Seika and Oisix will create “synergies in the entire business from manufacturing to sales”.

In a statement, Oisix, which invested through its Future Food Fund, said: “We will accelerate the collaboration between the two companies while utilising our knowledge related to delivering high-quality products to customers and, through the next-generation food of vegetable meat, we will reach more customers.”

Kameda Seika said the investment will help with its ambition to evolve from a rice cracker confectionery business to a better-for- you food business.

“We look forward to working together to create and expand the plant-based food market, which is still in its infancy in Japan,” it said.