ALCHEMY Foodtech, which specialises in food innovation that addresses the issue of diabetes and other chronic diseases, has closed a seven-figure bridge round led by Thailand-listed Thai Union Group PCL (Thai Union), a seafood company that also manufactures ready-to-eat meals under its own brands and private labels.
Other investors include Temasek-backed and Shanghai-based venture capital (VC) firm Bits x Bites, Fuchsia Venture Capital, the VC arm of Muang Thai Group Holding, and South Korea-based VC firm Sunbo Partners.
Existing investors Heritas Capital and SEEDS Capital also participated in the round, following their investments in Alchemy Foodtech's S$2.5 million pre-Series A round in 2018.
The bridge round will fuel Alchemy Foodtech's next stage of development in expanding its production capacity as well as its markets locally and overseas, with China as the focus.
The Singapore-based startup's product, Alchemy Fibre, is a patented blend of 100 per cent plant-based ingredients and a slowly-digestible carbohydrate which lowers the glucose release of carbohydrates.
The product turns refined carbohydrates, known as "bad" carbohydrates, into healthier options, known as "good" carbohydrates, by reducing the sugar released from foods and increasing the fibre and prebiotic content without changing their taste, texture and colour.
Alchemy Foodtech said one-third of adults with diabetes reside in China, while Singapore is ranked second behind the US for the highest incidence of diabetes in developed countries. Furthermore, 90 per cent of people with diabetes are Type 2 patients, brought about by lifestyle risk factors such as an unhealthy diet, the startup said.
Alchemy Fibre launched in Singapore in July through eatery partners, including Boon Tong Kee, Yu Kee Specialty, Yum Cha and Creative Eateries Group, as well as pharmacies such as Raffles Health and Grace Healthcare.
Alchemy Foodtech plans to accelerate its ongoing co-development projects with food manufacturers such as Gardenia, Lim Kee Foods and Kang Kang Noodles to introduce "made with Alchemy Fibre" bread, noodles and rice-based products to supermarkets in Singapore from January 2021.
Said Patrick Bertalanffy, group director of strategy at Thai Union: "Through their products, Alchemy can help consumers enjoy a healthier diet without compromising on taste.
"We see multiple angles for future collaborations and are looking forward to supporting Alchemy as they grow their businesses beyond Singapore."