GREENEST, India’s pioneering plant protein brand announces Pre-seed funding from Asia’s leading alt protein VC, Better Bite Ventures, and India’s Food & Agri industry veteran, Sachid Madan. India is on the cusp of an exponential growth in the plant protein space and GREENEST aims to be at the forefront.
GREENEST, known for its Indianised and affordable range of plant protein products is the country’s first to have executed an array of B2B partnerships with leading food service players like Burgrill, Wat a Burger, Chocolate Room, Biggies Burger, Freshmenu, Eatfit et al. GREENEST’s restaurant partnerships currently cover around 200 stores with plans for rapid expansion with the fresh infusion. Last year, the startup made waves when it launched the country’s first plant based meat burger, The Green Meat Pounder, under collaboration with Burgrill across all locations of the Burger major.
Better Bite Ventures is the first-of-its-kind VC fund that is dedicated entirely to alternative protein investments in Asia Pacific. The fund is focussed on harnessing plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies to create climate-friendly meat, dairy, egg, and seafood alternatives that are better for people, animals, and planet.
Michal Klar, general partner, Better Bite Ventures said, “At Better Bite we strongly believe in the long-term potential of the alternative protein sector in India. We are honoured to support Gaurav and his team at GREENEST, one of the pioneering plant-based meat startups in the country. They have been introducing consumers to their products by partnering with many progressive restaurants and chains. Building more sustainable 'smart protein' market in India has started and we cannot wait to see GREENEST's contribution.”
Sachid Madan brings in industry leading expertise as the former chief executive of ITC’s Fresh F&V and Frozen Foods Business. He is known for starting and scaling businesses like Wheel powder for Hindustan Unilever, Act II Popcorn for Conagra India and ITC Masterchef. He continues an active participation in policy formulation having held prestigious positions such as the chair of FICCI’s National Agri Committee.
Sachid Madan, said, “Unlocking the potential of plant based protein in India is going to be the biggest and most rewarding challenge in the foods and agriculture space. Achieving this requires focused hard and smart work and a long-term horizon. In Greenest I saw a shared understanding of this opportunity, a focus on unit economics and an ever learning and patient approach. I am delighted to be a part of GREENEST’s journey to success.”
Gaurav Sharma, founder and chief executive officer, GREENEST said, “We are elated to have closed our pre-seed funding with a brilliant set of investors. Better Bite Ventures is backing some of the most phenomenal startups in this space and we are delighted that they have chosen GREENEST to be a part of their international portfolio. With Sachid’s deep understanding of the Indian consumer and his solid track record of building profitable businesses in the past, we are geared to unlock the Indian alt protein opportunity and expand the market with our unique strategy.
With this round, we are looking forward to expanding our team, product line up and distribution footprint to maintain our position as the most superior and cost effective plant based alternative product on the Indian market. This funding moves us a step closer to helping build a more equitable food system where we have smarter and more sustainable ways to satiate human needs rather than have animals on our plates.”
JM Morgan Stanley India ex-chief and founder Rajeev Chitrabhanu, who is one of India's most well-respected investment bankers, advisors, and investors was the first to identify GREENEST’s potential and back the brand known for launching India’s first hyper realistic plant based Shami kebabs in 2020. “When we met Gaurav, he stood out as a founder and his mission to create a clean label, affordable plant protein portfolio was something we have been seeing as a trend internationally. The Indian market is getting primed for an environment friendly high protein meat alternative. We are excited to have backed GREENEST early on in their journey,” said Chitrabhanu.
According to Future Market Insights market report "The Plant Based Revolution: Growth Opportunities and Winning Strategies in the Global and Indian Plant based food market", the Indian plant based market is likely to reach US$ 400-450 Million in the next 5 years. India is a leading producer of crops rich in protein and is well positioned to service both the national and international plant-based foods sector.