Plant Protein Innovator Proeon Raises $2.4 Mn In Seed Round

The funds will be used to accelerate growth, expand research and development capabilities, and set up research lab in the Netherlands

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Pune-based food ingredient startup Proeon has raised $2.4 million as Seed capital. The funding round, led by entrepreneur Shaival Desai, also saw participation from Flowstate Ventures, Peak Sustainability Venture Fund I (executed by Samir Shah on behalf of the Fund), Waoo Partners (Pratul Shroff family office), and other angel investors. Existing investor SanjayaMariwala, managing director, OmniActive Health Technologies Limited.

Proeon

The funds will be utilized to enhance growth and set up a research lab in the Netherlands, Europe, filing IP, scaling up production, and expanding the team.

 “We are at the centre of creating next-generation plant protein ingredients and are delighted with the trust shown by our investors. By relentlessly focusing on innovation and partnering with large global brands as well as startups, we are working towards creating food products that are hassle-free to formulate, and are loved by consumers. Our immediate focus would be expanding presence in the markets of North America and Europe, where the shift to plant proteins is accelerating at an unprecedented pace,” said Kevin Parekh and Ashish Korde, co-founders, Proeon, in an adjoined statement.

Specialized in plant protein ingredient innovation, Proeon was founded in 2018 by Ashish Korde and Kevin Parekh to promote clean and healthy food for ‘people, planet, and conscience’. The company helps solve critical formulation challenges at the ingredient level, making it easier for food companies to make tastier and healthier plant-based meat, dairy, and egg replacement products. 

With the plant-based proteins sector projected to reach nearly $200 billion by 2027, the founders have struck a chord in the global food industry as food manufacturers are aiming to capture the new market being created. Global consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the impact of their food choices, leading them to opt more and more for plant-based diets, the company said.

“We're really happy to have partnered with Proeon in their journey to innovate in the alternative proteins space. Kevin and Ashish, bring deep industry experience and thorough technical understanding of the proteins space and are the perfect team to cater to this industry that thrives on innovation,” shared entrepreneur Shaival Desai, who has also invested in startups such as Licious and Peesafe.

“We are thrilled to invest in Proeon which is catering to a rapidly growing market of plant-based proteins in India and globally. Proeon’s technology will have a major societal impact by solving the climate change and nutrition challenges of today. The team has demonstrated exceptional technical and strategic capabilities, and is strongly positioned for exponential growth,” commented Anjani Bansal, founder, Flowstate Angel Investment Fund.

Currently, the company is working with brands from Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia to build more sustainable and healthier plant-based alternatives such as highly functional plant-based egg-replacement products, clean-label burgers, patties, and alternative dairy products. In collaboration with their partners and customers, they are also aiming to save more than 170 billion liters of water and eliminate about 150 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by replacing wasteful, animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives.

“Replacing meat with plant-based alternatives is a critical part of the planet’s journey towards sustainable survival over the next few decades. Proeon’s plant-based protein will play an important role in achieving that sustainability,'' added Pratul Shroff.

They are associated with research institutes such as the Wageningen University of Research, the Netherlands, and the Centre for Food Technology and Research Institute, Mysore, India, and are backed by incubators and innovation centres in India like IIM-Ahmedabad's CIIE.CO, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore, and NCL-Venture Centre, Pune.