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Friday, November 27, 2020

Dao Foods portfolio company Starfield closes $10 million in Series A funding

Dao Foods portfolio company Starfield has announced today the completion of Series A financing by a group of Chinese investors, bringing its funds to over $10 million.

Chinese plant-based investment firm Dao Foods International announced today that its portfolio company Starfield has completed Series A financing, making it the fastest growing plant-based venture in China. This means its funds have now surpassed $10 million, receiving investment from the likes of Sky9 Capital, Matrix Partners China, and Joy Capital.

Following this financing, Starfield will use $1.45 million to build a formula research and development lab in Shenzhen. It currently has almost 20 products, both frozen and ambient, which are replacing beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. With four new products a month, their portfolio is continuing to expand to meet different customer segments.

Starfield co-founder Kiki Wu said: “The core mission of Starfield is to enable consumers to live a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the earth and the environment. Our goal is to become an impactful food technology company, bringing healthy and environmentally friendly products to every corner of the world and promoting the development of sustainable food technology globally.”

The Shenzhen-headquartered company is considered the only Chinese next-gen alternative meat venture that has its own R&D and manufacturing capability. Its restaurant chains are currently trialling plant-based meat products, with reports showing a third of customers are regularly selecting Starfields on the menu. With almost 100 food service brands hoping to collaborate with the company, its supply is struggling to keep up with demand.

“We are extremely proud of all the progress the Starfield team has made and see them as a great example of what we hope to achieve in growing the ecosystem of plant-based businesses in China,” said Albert Tseng, co-founder of Dao Foods International.

While China’s economy is skyrocketing, so is its meat market. And this could have critical long-term consequences on the environment, our health, and for global food safety. Dao Foods invests in start-ups introducing vegan products to the scene, working to scale down China’s animal-product demand. Targeting the 400 million millennials in the country is an opportunity that Dao Foods believes could transform the industry.

Starfields has partnered with China’s leading universities to ensure the fermentation technology, protein structure and food flavour technology behind their products are market leading. Hongchang, CP Group and Sunnong Development are serving as Starfield’s co-packers to achieve prime production efficiency and product quality.

Starfield is planning on releasing burgers, salads and sandwiches to Chinese convenience stores soon. This will make plant-based meat products more accessible to families in China too.

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