Chinese Plant-Based Meat Startup Starfield Raises $100m
Chinese startup, Starfield Food Science & Technology, a company that develops plant-based meat alternatives, announced the completion of a $100 million Series B funding round led by private equity firm Primavera Capital Group.
Already existing investors Sky9 Capital, Joy Capital, Matrix Partners China and Lightspeed China Partners participated in the funding round, along with Ming Zeng, E-commerce giant Alibaba’s strategy chief.
Since it’s initial idea in 2019, Starfield has completed five investment rounds, said Sky9 Capital in a post on its official WeChat account. Back in August 2020, Sky9 Capital had led the startup’s $10 million Series A round.
“It [Starfield’s fundraising trajectory] reflects the rapid development of plant-based protein foods, as well as … recognition from consumers and the market,” said Sky9 Capital.
Currently based in Shenzhen, China, the company
operates under the so-called B2B2C model (business to business to consumer”). This means that Starfield collaborates with and provides other businesses such as beverage and coffee chains, restaurants and convenience stores to sell plant-based protein foods to customers. Its first manufacturing facility is located in the city of Xiaogan in central China’s Hubei Province.
At present, Starfield’s plant-based products can be found in more than 14,000 stores across China through partnerships with over 100 brands like teahouse chains Nayuki and Heytea, convenience store chain FamilyMart, fast food restaurant chains Tim Hortons and Dicos, as well as coffee chain operator Luckin Coffee.
“After the financing, Starfield will continue to introduce more reasonably priced, tasty, and healthy green food products based on our plant-based protein technology,” Kiki Wu, co-founder and CEO of Starfield, said in the post.
According to Wu, Starfield’s concurrent customer base is mainly aged between 18 and 30, with a slightly higher proportion of female customers than male customers. It means, she said, a growing population of China’s Generation Z (those born between the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2010s) favor plant-based food options amid “their rising pursuit of a healthy life.”
Starfield will invest the newly raised capital in new product development and buying laboratory equipment. It also plans to recruit and expand its employees and improve distribution channels, as well as marketing and brand promotion.
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