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July 6, 2020

Lever VC launches plant-based investment fund and accelerator in China

Investor Lester VC has linked up with accelerator operator Brinc on a venture targeting plant-based start-ups in a key Asian market.

By Leonie Barrie

Lester VC, the Hong Kong-headquartered venture-capital fund specialising in alternative proteins, has established an investment fund and accelerator targeting start-ups in China.

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While wanting to protect the country from being overwhelmed by Omicron, China’s adherence to a Zero-COVID policy is resulting in a significant economic downturn. COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities will impact 2022’s economic growth as consumers and businesses experience rolling lockdowns, leading to a slowdown in domestic and international supply chains. China’s Zero-COVID policy is having a demonstrable impact on consumer-facing industries. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, China in 2022: the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry, to examine the current situation in Shanghai and other cities in China, to better understand the worst-affected industry sectors, foodservice in particular, and to explore potential growth opportunities as China recovers. The white paper covers:
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  • How might the Chinese government react?
  • What are the potential growth opportunities?
by GlobalData
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It has joined forces with China-based accelerator operator Brinc in the venture, which will also support cell-cultivated meat and dairy companies.

Lever VC, which was an early investor in US plant-based burger firms Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, as well as Memphis Meats and Just, is supported in the venture by Lever Foods, a Shanghai-based consultancy that advises on the alternative protein industry. Other corporate partners include the venture capital arms of Yili, one of China’s largest dairy businesses, Chinese state-owned agri-food giant COFCO Corp., as well as national industry trade group the China Plant-Based Foods Alliance and ingredients giant Givaudan.

The Lever China Alternative Protein Fund will invest CNY40m (US$5.7m) over the next four years in entrepreneurs and early stage alternative protein companies focusing on the mainland Chinese market.

Up to CNY160m is available in potential follow-on funding from the Lever VC Fund, for a total available investment pool of CNY200m.

Brinc will provide a three-month accelerator programme on a rolling basis at its centre in Guangzhou. 

Manav Gupta, CEO of Brinc, said: “With the right backing and support, alternative meat start-ups can bring forth fundamental and lasting change to our global food system.”

just-food commentary: Plant-based meat must target local tastes to succeed in China

On just-food’s interview pages: “This industry is so nascent” – Dao Foods investor Tao Zhang on taking plant-based meat mainstream in China

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry?

While wanting to protect the country from being overwhelmed by Omicron, China’s adherence to a Zero-COVID policy is resulting in a significant economic downturn. COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities will impact 2022’s economic growth as consumers and businesses experience rolling lockdowns, leading to a slowdown in domestic and international supply chains. China’s Zero-COVID policy is having a demonstrable impact on consumer-facing industries. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, China in 2022: the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry, to examine the current situation in Shanghai and other cities in China, to better understand the worst-affected industry sectors, foodservice in particular, and to explore potential growth opportunities as China recovers. The white paper covers:
  • Which multinational companies have been affected?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on foodservice?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on Chinese ports?
  • Spotlight on Shanghai: what is the situation there?
  • How have Chinese consumers reacted?
  • How might the Chinese government react?
  • What are the potential growth opportunities?
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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