Big Idea Ventures Strengthens its European Fund Dedicated to Development of Alternative Proteins

Bel Group, International Food Industry Company, Makes Investment

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Big Idea Ventures, the global leader in early stage investment in the food technology sector, with accelerators in New York and Singapore, is strengthening its presence in Europe. Its New Protein Fund, dedicated to seed and early stage investments in plant-based and cell-based food, ingredient and technology companies, targeted to raise $50 million since its launch in 2019. Today, it is receiving structuring support from key players in the European market, including the Bel Group and the Buhler Group, with a view to opening an accelerator in Paris in 2021.

The New Protein Fund will receive special support from the Bel Group as part of a partnership designed to strengthen the expertise and capacity for accelerating projects detected and integrated into the fund.

“This investment by Bel — based in Paris and a major global player in single serving healthy snacking — will provide the New Protein Fund with more than additional capital. It is a strategic partnership to continue investing in and supporting the world’s most promising entrepreneurs who are actively creating the future of alternative proteins in Europe and beyond,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder and general managing partner of Big Idea Ventures.

The demand for alternative proteins and particularly for plant-based products is growing. U.S. consumer spending on plant-based foods has increased by more than 28 percent, from $3.9 billion in 2017 to $5 billion in 2019, according to figures published by The Good Food Institute. Plant-based cheese grew by nearly 51 percent during the same period, and Europe is following suit with the growth of the number of flexitarian consumers.

The Bel Group’s support for the New Protein Fund demonstrates its desire to support start-ups developing solutions to meet changing nutritional needs and the challenges of sustainable food. Enabling a better balance between plant and animal proteins in food is one of the levers for continuing to feed a growing population while preserving the planet. Bel is therefore committed to a global strategy of accelerating research and development of plant-based protein products in order to diversify its offering of healthy, sustainable products for all.

“By identifying and supporting as early as possible the start-ups and projects involved in inventing tomorrow's food, Bel is demonstrating its desire to make these solutions a reality and make them accessible to all,” said Caroline Sorlin, general manager of Bel's Plant-Based Acceleration Unit. “This partnership embodies our model: constantly innovating, co-constructing with all those who share our values and vision. Plant-based products now complement our milk-based offer: consumers are more and more looking for a plant-based offer and we aim to provide them with a quality proposition.”

The Bel group also has already announced the forthcoming arrival of new 100 percent plant-based products within the range of its main brands as well as under a new international brand.

About Big Idea Ventures

Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world's greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs. We are building a range of the most globally strategic funds delivering significant investor returns while solving real world challenges. BIV is focused on alternative protein with its New Protein Fund, and innovations in the food industry to solve challenges in waste, water use, plastic use and CO2.

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