Fund Management

Milltrust Bets On "Smart Protein" Revolution

Editorial Staff 1 February 2023

Milltrust Bets On

The fund taps into trends that are re-shaping how food is produced and brought to the table, such as what are called "smart proteins" – a term covering entities such as cultivated meats, plant-based proteins and fermentation techniques.

Milltrust Ventures, the venture investment arm of Milltrust International, the group with co-headquarters in London and Singapore, has launched a fund investing in what is called “smart protein.”

The term refers to food products which replace animal-derived meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy. These alternatives are focused on delivering the same cultural and sensory experiences as animal-derived foods.

The Smart Protein Fund has been launched in partnership with Earth First Food Ventures, a specialist food tech venture capital platform with a presence in Switzerland, the US, India, Brazil, and Greece. 

The fund will invest in companies that focus on plant-based proteins, cultivated meat, and fermentation technologies, as well as the infrastructure that will help scale this industry.

“Timing is everything and investments in this growing industry are being repriced as commercial viability becomes a reality. Its continued acceleration, moving from R&D to growth at scale, will allow us to produce healthier, lower impact proteins in line with accelerating demand,” Simon Hopkins, CEO of Milltrust International Group, said. (This news service talked to Hopkins about agricultural technology, innovation and environmental concerns here.)

The offering builds on Milltrust’s first investment in alternative protein in 2016, when the firm provided seed capital and helped found Roslin Technologies, an Edinburgh-based food and ag tech company. 

“By 2035, alternative proteins will very likely capture 11 per cent of the global protein market through organic growth, as consumers, companies, and investors push the values of ESG and parity. And we predict the market for alternatives to meat, especially chicken and seafood, could increase significantly higher still, rising from 2 per cent of total protein consumption in 2020 to more than 20 per cent by 2035, with government support which we are beginning to see today,” Brian Ruszczyk, CEO of Earth First Food Ventures, said. 

Alexander Kalis, managing partner at Milltrust International, said: “It’s often conveniently forgotten that the food industry represents 26 per cent of global GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, more than all forms of transport combined.”

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