Starfield lands largest plant-based funding round in China’s history

2 Feb 2022

Chinese alternative protein manufacturer Starfield Food Science & Technology closed a $100 million Series B funding round — the largest in China’s recorded history to date, according to a release from the company.

Funds will be allocated to increasing the production capacity and R&D capabilities of this Chinese startup in order to improve the flavor and texture of its plant-based protein alternatives. Additionally, some funds will be earmarked for hiring new talent and building the Starfield brand through marketing.

Starfield lands largest plant-based funding round in China’s history
Image courtesy of Starfield Food Science & Technology

Already this Chinese company is looking to go whole hog and produce whole cuts of meat rather than ground or sliced options, which is more common in today’s market. Using tech-enabled proprietary means, including “refined enzymatic cross-linking,” the company says it is working on manufacturing products such as ham and beef joints as well as deli applications like pastrami.

To produce these meat analogs, the company is currently constructing a commercial production facility in China’s Hubei province. Not only is Starfield working to manufacture its own plant-based alternatives, but it hopes to do so in a cost-effective way, offering prices that are either below or similar to current prices for animal-derived protein options.

Starfield “will continue to launch more affordable, delicious and healthy plant-based green foods based on plant protein technology, and create a better eating experience for our target market of Generation Z — in turn, delivering more sustainable lifestyles,” company CEO Kiki Wu said in a statement.

The aim to deliver a sustainable meat alternative to Chinese consumers is already a process that is in motion. Starfield operates with what it calls a B2B2C model, which means that its own commercially-made products are self-branded and distributed through over 14,000 retailers throughout China. Some of its major partners include Luckin Coffee, Nayuki, 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Hema, Alibaba’s tech-enabled supermarket.

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