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Alpha JWC Ventures Leads 24 Billion Rupiah Funding for Alt-Protein Startup "Off Foods"

Participated also in this round Global Founders Capital, Creative Gorilla Capital, Lemonilo, and United Family Capital (UFC)

The Off Foods food-tech startup has announced a $1.7 million seed funding (approximately 24.3 billion Rupiah) led by Alpha JWC Ventures. Global Founders Capital (GFC) and other strategic investors, including Creative Gorilla Capital, Lemonilo, and United Family Capital (UFC) are participated in this round.

The company will use the fresh funds to develop research related to the Off Meat variety, from alternative processed chicken meat products, such as nuggets. Also, entering other cities by implementing a direct-to-consumers strategy, in order to reach more consumers.

Off Foods is a local startup founded by Dominik Laurus and Jhameson Ko last year. This startup has ambitions to become a leading alternative protein (alt-protein) producer from Indonesia. It is said by providing an opportunity for more people to consume animal meat, without killing real animals for sustainability, and without sacrificing taste.

Off Foods Co-founder & CEO Dominik Laurus said, "We are doing more than just selling food, introducing new ideas for lifestyle changes in Indonesia that are expected to produce a healthier society and a more sustainable earth.

“Off Meat and the Indonesian [market] are just our starting points. We are excited to receive such enthusiasm from new and existing investors, including established experts in the F&B industry, and we are excited to move forward with our product innovations, imminent national expansion, and finally regional expansion in 2024," Dominik said in an official statement, Tuesday (19/4).

The company launched Off Meat's flagship product, a protein similar to chicken meat, in August 2021. Using the B2B model, Off Foods supplies its products to various restaurants, such as Gaaram, Wanfan, Mamma Rosy, and Fitco Eats disributed across seven cities (Jabodetabek, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, Makassar and Bali).

It is claimed, the company's business growth has soared up to 10 times through this B2B concept. The partnerships number goes up, some of which are already in process, including Mangkokku, Zenbu, and Byurger which already have outlets throughout Indonesia.

"Off Meat is a solution for foodservice businesses in supplying plant-based meat fillets to the horeca market (hotels, restaurants, cafes). Our products are affordable and customizable for chefs to create meatless dishes on their menus with their own special recipes and techniques. Customers will be able to enjoy the familiar tastes of restaurants in the form of meatless dishes and be part of the future of sustainability," Jhameson Ko, Co-founder & CPO of Off Foods said.

The company recently opened a new branch in Bali which is one of the most important plant-based food markets in Indonesia. Off Foods will see more adoption and partnerships in the near future as meats have high applicability in the kitchen, for example from fried 'chicken' menus to nuggets to traditional chicken sambal matah, offering horeca markets in emerging markets a more localized taste and texture than with alt-products available in the market today.

Non-meat food potential

According to a recent report from BIS Research, the plant-based food sector as a whole is expected to reach $480 billion globally by 2024. The plant protein industry is also expected to continue to grow in Indonesia with a CAGR of 27.5% from 2021 to 2027, representing an increase of about sixfold by 2027, as quoted by Research and Markets.

Historically, plant-based adoption has an obstacle through the premium price point it is often associated with. The challenge for competition in this industry is not only the right taste and texture, but also includes improving know-how and manufacturing efficiencies to approach price parity.

“Off Meat tries to solve this long-overdue issue by coming up with an affordable alternative, providing a plant-based protein substitute at at least half the price point of its competitors.”

Alpha JWC Ventures' Partner Eko Kurniadi also agreed, he said that alt-proteins need time to be adopted in developing countries because of the premium costs. However, consumers have realized the health value and environmental benefits that alt-food products bring.

“Now the revolution is sweeping almost the whole emerging markets like Indonesia, and it is the right time for Off Foods. With the great products, strong go-to-market strategy and best-in-class cost structure suited to growing markets, we believe they are in a strong position to bring the alt-protein movement mainstream to Indonesian households," Eko said.

Previously, a similar startup, Green Rebels has recently received funding to increase its penetration in serving alt protein-based foods.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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