Thai Union Corporate Venture Fund to Invest in Four New Food Tech Companies

  • Thai Union will invest in Alchemy Foodtech Pte. Ltd., Manna Foods Co and HydroNeo GmBH, all recent graduates of food-tech incubator and accelerator SPACE-F
  • In addition, Thai Union will invest in Singapore-based agrifood tech fund VisVires New Protein

30 September 2020, BANGKOKThai Union Group PCL (Thai Union) has announced four new investments in the food tech space through its recently created venture fund, which focuses on alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology start-ups.

The Company will invest into Alchemy Foodtech Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based diabetes food tech innovation company; Manna Foods Co, an insect tech and e-commerce company in the U.S.; and HydroNeo GmbH, an aquaculture technology company based in Germany and Thailand. All three companies were part of the first cohort of SPACE-F, the first food tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand, which Thai Union is a founding partner of, alongside Mahidol University and Thailand's National Innovation Agency (NIA).

In addition, Thai Union will invest in VisVires New Protein, a Singapore-based food tech investment fund, to deepen its network of identifying co-investment and collaborative opportunities in the global AgriFood tech ecosystem.

Caption: Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union

Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union said, "We are committed to Open Innovation as an important part in Thai Union's innovation strategy, complementing our in-house innovation efforts. As such, we are working with external parties including universities, research institutions and the broader food tech ecosystem to support and fast-track innovative ideas and technologies. Our venture capital investments in the food tech space are an important part of this. Of course, our investment in these companies goes beyond a financial commitment as we also intend to provide guidance and support and will look to pursue collaborations wherever possible. In addition, investing into VisVires New Protein also opens a wider, global spectrum for opportunities and we're looking forward to developing a range of exciting opportunities with them."

Thai Union's venture fund was launched in 2019 with an initial commitment of USD 30 million and focuses its investments on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and new technologies along the food value chain. Thai Union are investing in early-stage entrepreneurial companies that are active in these areas and will actively partner with these companies to support and accelerate their development.

Thai Union Group PCL is the world's seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as one of the world's leading seafood producers and one of the largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 126.3 billion (US$ 4.1 billion) and a global workforce of over 44,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company's global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Find out more at Thai Union's on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by being ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, achieving a 100th percentile ranking for total sustainability score. Thai Union has now been named to the DJSI for six consecutive years. Thai Union was also named to the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the fourth straight year in 2019.

About Alchemy Foodtech Pte. Ltd.
Alchemy Foodtech is a food science and technology company that develops novel active food ingredients that fight diabetes. By sourcing from nature and proving with science, Alchemy Foodtech Makes Bad Carbs Good without change in taste to provide disease management and general public with diabetes prevention.

About Manna Foods Co
Manna is an insect technology and e-commerce brand. Leveraging automation and breeding technologies, Manna is able to produce protein that is more sustainable than concentrated plant protein. By vertically integrating, Manna is making insect protein a mainstream food source.

About Hydroneo GmbH
HydroNeo is an award-winning German high-tech company that develops comprehensive solutions for smart aquaculture management. Their IoT-system is designed to integrate into existing production sites to monitor the quality of water for breeding and farming of shrimp and to automate operations. Through the detection of fluctuations in water quality, farmers are enabled to take countermeasures for reducing the risk of animal losses while the optimized controlling of energy-intensive aeration and feeding increases farm efficiency. HydroNeo's solution makes farm operations more profitable and at the same time more sustainable.

About VisVires New Protein
Pioneers in deploying venture capital into 'New Protein', Visvires New Protein (VVNP) backs ambitious teams who are developing transformative solutions for a healthier, safer and more sustainable agri-food system. Since its inception in 2014, VVNP has helped to germinate and grow start-up companies from all over the world. The firm manages two Funds with a global portfolio that includes Ynsect, Nuritas, Mitte, In Ovo, Nutrition Innovation, ViAqua, Aleph Farms and Mushlabs.

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