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Australian fake-meat maker raises A$77m from Goldman, Temasek

Sydney

AUSTRALIA'S V2food has raised new equity from investors including Goldman Sachs Group and Singapore state-owned investor Temasek Holdings in a deal that will help the maker of plant-based meat alternatives forge a presence in Asia.

The Sydney-based company has raised A$77 million (S$74.3 million) in series B funding from a group that also includes Chinese food producer Esenagro, investment bank China Renaissance Holdings' Huaxing Growth Capital, and investment firms ABC World Asia, Altitude Partners and Novel Investments, said a spokesperson, adding that the funds will join existing investors Horizons Ventures and Australian state-backed firm Main Sequence Ventures. The new round brings the total the company has raised to A$113 million.

V2food is among the growing number of mock-meat manufacturers looking for a foothold in the Asia-Pacific. "This is the moment for this industry - everyone realises this is going to happen, so there is a lot of capital looking for a home here," V2food chief executive officer Nick Hazell said.

Last month, Woolworths Group, the country's largest grocery retailer, began stocking V2food's products in 600 of its stores. The latest funding round will help V2food cater for the demand for meat that he expects to swell as the growth of populations and global wealth accelerate - demand that will need to be met by alternatives, Mr Hazell said.

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By pushing into Asia, V2food will be competing with the likes of Nestle, which plans to build in China its first production facility in Asia for plant-based meat, as well as US-based Beyond Meat, which partnered Yum China Holdings to introduce the Beyond Burger at select KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in the country this year. BLOOMBERG

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