First Close of ‘Lever VC Fund I’ at US$23M

Lever VC has identified 10 companies to be backed by Fund I so far

Lever VC, an alternative protein venture capital firm based in the U.S. and Hong Kong, has secured the first close of its Lever VC Fund I with US$23 million in capital commitments, the firm announced in a statement yesterday.

70% of the capital commitments were received from family offices and conglomerates in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia with an interest in the alternative protein sector, the statement said. The firm is continuing to source further capital commitments to flesh out the fund.

It also said that the Lever VC Fund I, which is focused on backing early stage plant-based and cell-cultivated meat and dairy startups, has already built a portfolio of 10 alternative protein startups across Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and others.

The portfolio includes cell cultivation startups Singapore-based TurtleTree Labs and Hong Kong-based Avant, U.S.-based alternative meat protein companies Better Meat Co and Bond Pet Foods, and plant-based food products companies The Good Spoon based in France, and Marvelous Foods based in China.

Further, the firm will continue to scout for investment opportunities in early stage alternative protein companies through a database of 1,200 global plant-based and cell-cultivated meat and dairy companies that Lever VC been tracking.

Lever VC’s Managing Partner Nick Cooney and Partner Lawrence Chu have been investing in alternative protein since 2015, with investments in Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats, JUST, Aleph Farms, and Kite Hill.

Chu also founded the Lever VC GP Venture Smart Financial Holdings Limited (VSFG), a financial services firm focused on the Asia Pacific region, with a record in alternative assets management for both institutional and high net worth clients.

“The alternative protein market is continuing to grow quickly,” Chu noted in the statement.

“With our deep experience and proven record of returns in the sector, as well as the preeminent deal flow across Asia, North America, Europe and beyond, Lever VC is perfectly positioned to deliver value to investors looking for financial or strategic exposure to alternative protein and the broader impact investing market,” he added.

Earlier this year, Lever VC had announced an RMB 200 million (around US$28 million) Lever China Alternative Protein Fund in June, a joint investment fund and accelerator program for plant-based and cell-cultivated meat and dairy companies from China.

Lever VC is catching the investment wave in the alternative protein industry. According to the Good Food Institute, an alternative protein industry NGO, co-founded by Cooney, $930 million was invested in meat and dairy alternatives in Q1 2020 alone, surpassing the total annual investment of $824 million made in 2019 by 11%.

As of 2019, the alternative protein market was valued at around $2.2 billion compared to the $1.7 trillion global meat market. The market is set to expand, however, with interest in dairy-free diets and veganism expected to continue growing.

Header image from Freepik

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

5 Companies That Have Already Announced Job Cuts This Year

Layoffs in 2023: 5 Companies That Have Already Announced Job Cuts This Year

The layoff spree at tech giants is bleeding into a new year. It has been just three weeks since we entered 2023, yet the media is buzzing with disturbing numbers about people being laid off by tech companies: At least 104 tech companies let go more than 26,000 employees. This means, more than 1,600 tech employees were dismissed per day in the past couple of weeks. Let’s take a look at the top tech companies that are laying off aggressively.

Goblin Mode

Decoding the World’s Obsession with “Goblin Mode”

Do you find yourself struggling to maintain a positive and productive attitude at work? Are you becoming increasingly irritable or disengaged from constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience this state of mind, and some turn on their ‌ “goblin mode” to cope with it. The term “goblin mode” gained popularity in February 2022

Instagram vs YouTube—Which Is Better for Your Business?

Instagram vs YouTubeWhich Is Better for Your Business?

With the rise of social media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, businesses have gained new opportunities to reach their potential customers. It’s important to note that Instagram and YouTube are not just for entertainment; they can be used as powerful tools for marketing and creating brand awareness. Many individuals already use YouTube, TikTok and more to earn money.

What Is Ambient Computing? How Does It Affect Our Lives?

What Is Ambient Computing? How Does It Affect Our Lives?

Picture this: it’s five degrees Celsius outside, and you are freezing, but instead of you adjusting your thermostat, your house automatically realizes that it needs to be warmed up and changes the temperature accordingly. That is what ambient computing is all about. Ambient computing (also called ambient intelligence) refers to technology immersed into your environment. You don’t have to consciously interact with it using screens or keyboards.

How Can AI Be Used in Governance?

How Can AI Be Used in Governance?

One of the many things that artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of doing is helping governments function smoothly. In a previous article, we discussed that, over time, AI would be responsible for more decision-making. As such, it can help governments worldwide make tough decisions by ridding the decision-making process of human biases.

Top 3 Cheapest Tesla Alternatives to Consider Buying

Top 3 Cheapest Tesla Alternatives to Consider Buying

Those who care about the environment have progressively shifted to electric cars. In December 2022, electric car sales reached 11% of the car market worldwide. These cars not only have significantly fewer carbon emissions but are also cheaper to maintain. Some countries, such as New Zealand, the U.K.