As healthtech startups, from vegan products to food, come to the fore especially after the pandemic that has reminded us of the importance of being healthy, Pune-based food ingredient startup Proeon has raised $2.4 Mn in a seed-funding round led by entrepreneur Shaival Desai.
With the fresh money, Proeon will expand its global presence, setting up research labs in the Netherlands in Europe, filing IP (intellectual property), scaling up production and expanding the team.
India’s plant-based protein food market, which was estimated to be $374.1 Mn in 2018, is expected to grow to $565.1 Mn by 2023.
In the Indian market, Proeon competes with startups such as EVO egg, Good Dot, Vezlay, Imagine Meats, Urban Platter, Veggie Gold and several others. Meanwhile in the European and US market, it contends with companies including Yumgo Tamago Food, Willicroft, Foods For Tomorrow, Zero Egg, Beyond Meat, Oatly, and several others.
The startup’s current product portfolio includes mung bean protein, chickpea protein, amaranth protein and hemp seed protein.
The new round 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.In addition, existing investor Sanjaya Mariwala, MD of OmniActive Health Technologies also participated.
Launched in 2018 by Ashish Korde and Kevin Parekh, Proeon provides plant-based protein ingredients to promote clean and healthy food. The startup claims to end critical formulation challenges at the ingredient level, enabling food companies to make tastier and healthier plant-based meat, dairy, and egg replacement products.
“We are working towards creating food products that are hassle-free to formulate and are loved by the 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 Korde.
The concept of veganism and opting for plant-based protein has been on a surge for the past couple of years the world over. The global plant-based protein market is expected to reach $15.6 Bn in 2026 from a $10.3 Bn market in 2020.
The startup claims to have partnered with brands from Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia to grow its customer base. It plans on including more sustainable and healthier plant-based alternatives such as highly functional plant-based egg-replacement products, clean-label burgers, patties, and alternative dairy products.
Plus, in collaboration with their partners and customers, the startup aims to save more than 170 Bn litres of water and eliminate about 150 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions by replacing wasteful, animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives.