Bits x Bites Announces $30m First Close of New Fund to Grow Agri-food Tech in China
Bits x Bites has raised $30M in the first close of its new $70m fund. The new fund boosts its position as the leading and only Chinese venture capital investing in transformative technology to build a more resilient and sustainable agrifood supply chain.
LPs backing Bits x Bites include Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore; Heritas Capital Management, a Singaporean investor primarily focused on health and related food technology; and the CEO of Monde Nissin, a Philippine food company that also owns UK meat replacement company Quorn. Several food conglomerates and family offices in China and Southeast Asia have also joined in. These LPs’ industrial footprint spreads across food and biosciences. The VC anticipates a final closing in the coming months.
Bits x Bites is managed by general partners Matilda Ho and Joseph Zhou to invest exclusively in the agrifood tech sector with a focus on the Chinese market. By backing early-stage Chinese and international founders, it aims to advance bioscience, data science, and processing technology to tackle challenges along the Chinese food supply chain, from precision agriculture, crop and animal health to protein alternatives and nutrition.
“With African Swine Flu, COVID, and uncertain trade relations, nothing else is more urgent in China today than growing the self-sufficiency and sustainability in food production,” says Matilda Ho, founder and managing director of Bits x Bites. “Whether it is a discovery platform for novel agri inputs, bio-manufacturing of high-demand functional ingredients, or machine learning for farm automation, these process innovations are vital for raising our food system’s productivity and improving the nutritional and safety performance of our food product.”
“China has built a vast digital ecosystem with impressive e-grocery and food delivery penetration, and these downstream platforms have been driving food and retail investment in China,” continues Ho. “However without investment in upstream innovation, we won’t see meaningful improvement in farm production efficiency to sustain the rapidly growing food demand. And without biotech and ingredient innovation midstream, food products will fall short of consumers’ expectation in nutrition, clean label, taste, value, and transparency. These opportunities are what brought Bits x Bites and our LPs together. We are grateful to have investors who share our vision so that in this economic watershed year, we can invest in emerging companies like Mojia Bio to shift our production toward sustainability.”
Mojia Bio is the first new portfolio company in Bits x Bites’s new fund. It is a Chinese bio industrial company that produces essential nutrients. Its proprietary bio-manufacturing process increases yield and limits by-product and environmental pollution associated with conventional chemical synthesis.
In addition, the new fund has deployed capital in follow-on investments in Bits x Bites’s previous portfolios. They include Tropic Biosciences, a UK CRISPR gene editing company, and InnovoPro, an Israeli chickpea protein concentrate company.
Join Matilda Ho at the virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit where she will be speaking on the panel: ‘Creating a Strong Agri-Food Innovation Ecosystem in Singapore and Asia’ and hosting a roundtable discussion on ‘Technologies Central to Supply Chain Resilience & The Inertia That Prevents Adoption’ on Thursday November 19.
About Bits x Bites
Bits x Bites is an agrifood tech venture capital fund focusing on the Chinese market. It invests across the food supply chain, from precision agriculture, crop and animal health to protein alternatives and nutrition. It backs both Chinese and international companies up to series B. To date, it has invested in startups that are advancing gene editing for high-performing crops, functional chickpea-based protein ingredients, as well as cost-efficient, non-GMO cell-based meat production without an actual animal. For more information about Bits x Bites, visit http://www.bitsxbites.com/.