VisVires New Protein
VisVires New Protein (VVNP) is a venture capital fund that aims to achieve outsize returns from focused investments on disruptive technologies for the food and feed system.
Today’s life sciences and new technologies deliver opportunities to redesign the food supply system from the ground up.
We focus our investments on companies which bring pioneering solutions to key food-related issues, along the whole supply chain. Biotechnology, data sciences, as well as automation and novel processes, will be crucial to sustainable animal feed, green aquaculture and innovative human food product development.
Food and feed, the next frontier
VVNP was created on the premises that the foreseeable shortage in animal protein would spur the development of innovative solutions and generate opportunities to invest. But the stakes are even higher. Today, in an arguably more complex food ecosystem, we see many factors driving the need to comprehensively rethink the whole food production and supply chain: globalization of agriculture and animal farming, changes in dietary habits in developing countries, impact of climate change, the multiple causes and issues of food waste, as well as consumer demand for healthier food propositions.
The commitment to innovation
We are strongly committed to innovation. Old models of food production will have to be replaced by new solutions. A more scientific approach will be crucial to provide solutions for the long term. Tomorrow our resources will diminish while our technological skills will increase. Some technological advancements are particularly timely to address the above challenges. They can give life to disruptive models and provide transformational services. This offers a whole breadth of opportunities to investors.
Bringing in innovation and capital, VVNP is building a portfolio of outstanding companies with creative, scientifically rigorous and delivery-focused management teams.
We invest in companies at early stages of their development, from angel all the way to series B.
OUR INVESTMENT SCOPE
Addressing the foreseeable shortage of
Our agricultural model has not yet evolved to face the challenges brought by a growing population with changing diets.
Innovation will help make animal farming more sustainable, and novel processes will develop scalable new sources of protein.
Leveraging an increased understanding of
food and health interaction
Over the past few decades, food has contributed to exacerbate a number of metabolic and chronic diseases.
The start ups we are looking at are working on making food a solution, not a problem.
Building a safer food chain
whilst reducing waste
More than a third of the food produced is wasted along the food chain in both developed and developing countries.
Improving food safety practices, producing closer to the consumer, reusing waste, creating sustainable packaging are many ways to reduce spoilage.
Who we are
Matthieu has over 25 years of experience in investment management with a concentration on Asian regions. Matthieu’s investment experience has been centred primarily on thematic investing where he has successfully identified specific themes and designed strategies to profit from them. In mid-2012, Matthieu started to explore the imbalance created by China in the world market of animal protein. He quickly became convinced that it was the tipping point of a multi-decade investment opportunity. In late 2013-early 2014, Matthieu decided to concentrate solely on this and founded New Protein Capital (NPC). The scope of investment of NPC has since been expanded to include the multiple challenges of the food and feed production processes.
Prior to founding NPC in 2014, Matthieu was with Everest Capital, a large independent investment firm with offices in the US and in Singapore, for over 16 years. At Everest Capital, he was a Senior Managing Director and the Director of Research as well as a member of the Executive and Investment committees.
Prior to Everest, Matthieu was with Banque Paribas, in Hong Kong, New York, Taipei and Paris.
Matthieu has a postgraduate degree in Corporate Finance from Universite Paris Dauphine and has a graduate degree from Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
Marie-Anne has acquired a diverse professional background managing non-profit as well as for profit projects in Africa, Indonesia and Singapore with a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly ventures. She has spent most of her professional life between Asia and the USA. Marie-Anne has an extensive knowledge of the major issues facing food and feed industries today. She is driving our research efforts and makes sure our investment scope stays within the sustainable and scalable boundaries. Marie-Anne is passionate about finding solutions for these pressing global problems.
She has a double major in Law and Chinese Language and Civilization.
Dr. Kenneth Lee
For the past two decades, Ken has worked with global leaders of the food and consumer care industry to leverage early stage science into game-changing innovations. He cut his teeth at L’Oréal, where he established a process enabling the company to take advantage of opportunities that arise in a fast-changing world. Ken led the Strategic Foresight function for the L’Oréal Group and undertook missions in Brazil, China, India, Israel, Japan and the US.
Ken moved to Singapore in 2013 to join the Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR), where he played a pivotal role in architecting the strategy to establish Singapore as a leading science and innovation hub for the food, nutrition and consumer care industry. Ken and his team were successful in securing more than S$170 million in funding from the Singapore government to support new R&D programmes that address the key industry drivers of efficacy, safety and sustainability. These programmes helped to attract new investments by some of the largest companies in food and consumer care (CAGR +31%); and created an ecosystem comprising global brand owners, ingredients innovators and start-up companies.
Ken holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, and undertook doctoral and post-doctoral research in stem cells. He has been a member of New Protein Capital’s Investment Committee since 2016, stepping down in August 2018 when he was appointed Senior Partner.
Gerard heads the fund's business development efforts and supports the investment team.
Most recently, Gerard was the right-hand to the former Chairman of the holding co. of the Firmenich Group, where he was Head of Special Projects. Previously, he was an Investment Analyst with Saratoga Capital, an Indonesia-focused private equity fund.
Gerard has a graduate degree in Banking and Finance from University of London International Programme (LSE).
Candice is part of the portfolio management team of VVNP.
Prior to this, she was an investment manager with Singapore Technologies Telemedia. She previously was the deputy head of the Product Management team of Partners Group, before serving as an assistant vice president with Keppel.
Candice has a B.Sc (Life Sciences) from the National University of Singapore, a Master in Finance from the University of Wales, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate with Manchester Business School.
Darren is part of the deal-sourcing team at VVNP.
Formerly, he worked for Sequoia-backed, SmartKarma, where he researched on upcoming IPO companies across multiple industries in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to that, he had spent a year in Beijing, working for one of China's largest technology companies.
Darren graduated from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Banking and Finance.
Caroline supports the VVNP team as the executive assistant.
Prior to joining, she has worked in various industries, including offices and multinational investment banks. Caroline has considerable years of experience as an office manager and personal assistant. Notably, she previously worked alongside Matthieu Vermersch at Everest Capital for eight years.
Caroline has a diploma in Compliance.
Ling Jin supports the deal-sourcing efforts at VVNP.
Previously, she worked for Danone as a Nutrition & Credibility analyst, where she investigated on food labeling and provided nutritional guidance on various innovation projects.
Ling has a Bachelors in Biological Science from Nanjing University and is currently pursuing her Master in Food Engineering with AgroParisTech.
* As of 1st Sept. 2016, New Protein Capital operates as a division of VisVires Capital whose team biographies can be found here.
Our firm is strategically based in Singapore, Southeast Asia's research and development hub, which also offers easy access to the greater Asia region. From here we can identify new markets and monitor important new developments in traditional agriculture and aquaculture industries. Singapore is also home to a myriad of scientific research centres and large food-related businesses.
With its receptiveness to new technologies and focus on research, the city is an attractive location for research talents and is a great place for ground-breaking innovation.
VisVires New Protein is pleased to announce its investment in ALEPH FARMS, an Israeli start-up founded in 2017. ALEPH FARMS is pioneering a process to produce meat — by cultivating non-GM starter cells taken from an animal biopsy — without the antibiotics, environmental impact and animal slaughter that are associated with conventional meat production.
Conventional meat production itself is an existential problem. As the world population increases along with the average individual income, the FAO expects world production for meat to climb by 15% and 60% over the next 10 and 30 years respectively to accommodate the associated escalating demand. Meat production, especially beef, is a broken system; broken for the environment, broken for our health and completely misaligned with our values.
While there are over 25 companies working to produce meat using cellular agriculture technologies, these companies are often growing cells in suspension, limiting final applications to ground meat, and have vague plans for three-dimensional tissue construction. In contrast, ALEPH FARMS’ proprietary approach enables it to grow four types of cells together in a three-dimensional structure. The result is a fully-textured steak that includes muscle fibres, fats and blood vessels — the first that was produced in the world.
VisVires New Protein has completed an investment in NUTRITION INNOVATION, a Singapore start-up that was incorporated in 2017. NUTRITION INNOVATION has developed a proprietary technology that enables sugar mills and refineries to produce low glycemic, natural cane sugar (Nucane), at an industrial scale, as a healthier replacement for refined sugar. Traditionally, sugar is highly refined, stripped of antioxidants and high in glycemic index (GI). Yet, sugar has been essential for the manufacturing of many food products due to its functional properties — characteristics that alternative sweeteners are unable to replicate.
Moreover, NUTRITION INNOVATION has a strong innovative pipeline of products that can achieve sugar reduction of up to 70%, while conferring additional health benefits. In the wake of escalating diabetes and obesity, NUTRITION INNOVATION’s value proposition is compelling across our entire food system, from the sugar mills and refineries to the food manufacturers and consumers.
VisVires New Protein has invested in VIAQUA, an Israeli start-up founded in 2014. VIAQUA has developed the first orally-administered therapeutic for shrimp to prevent and treat viral diseases, including the notoriously devastating White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). Mortality rates in shrimp populations typically reach 100% within five days of the onset of the disease. Each year, the WSSV results in direct losses of more than US$1 billion in Asia alone. Despite over two decades since its emergence, there has been no effective solution to date.
VIAQUA’s transformational solution for viral infections is a breakthrough in disease management for the entire shrimp aquaculture industry. In the future, VIAQUA intends to expand to include therapeutics for more species, like crustaceans and fish.
VisVires New Protein and Evonik co-led a Series A investment in IN OVO, a spinoff from Leiden University, founded in 2013. IN OVO has developed an automated process to gender test fertilized eggs for the layer chicken industry (i.e. chickens that are reared for commercial egg production). This is achieved by analysing the allantoic fluid extracted from the eggs through a tiny, resealable hole for three specific biomarkers. The entire process is completed in less than a second.
The company’s unique solution seeks to eliminate the annual culling of 3.2 billion chicks in the layer chicken industry - an extremely wasteful, inefficient and unethical process. Importantly, IN OVO’s technology is especially relevant in Asia which is the largest egg producer globally with more than 1.8 billion laying hens.
VisVires New Protein has co-led, alongside Danone Manifesto Ventures, a seed financing round in MITTE, a Berlin-based startup founded in June 2016. MITTE is the first-of-its-kind smart home water system that provides solutions to plain tap water quality, while promoting sustainability by offering an alternative to bottled water. MITTE works by purifying water with a proprietary distillation-based method, before enhancing the water with essential minerals.
The company's technological breakthrough creates a new standard for hydration by offering consumers high-quality drinking water with the well-documented benefits of minerals. Importantly, by offering consumers a sustainable alternative to plastic bottles, MITTE helps to address the global issue of plastic pollution.
VisVires New Protein is the lead investor in Dublin-based startup NURITAS. The company was founded by Dr. Nora Khaldi, a mathematician with a PhD in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics to revolutionize the discovery of novel, natural and scientifically proven active ingredients that promote and manage our health.
The company’s disruptive computational approach to discovery uses artificial intelligence and DNA analysis to, for the first time ever, rapidly and efficiently provide access to the most health-benefiting components within food called peptides. NURITAS' patented life-changing peptides provide unique solutions for the maintenance of health and wellness. These benefits include: anti-inflammatory activity, antimicrobial activity, muscle recovery enhancement, skin anti-aging solutions, and the potential management of blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics. Put in a nutshell, the company discovers and unlocks ingredients from food sources in a completely unique way, providing natural, safe and sustainable health solutions.
VisVires New Protein is an early investor in YNSECT, a startup that produces insect meal, an environmentally sustainable alternative to fishmeal. This is ground-breaking as the price of fishmeal has already tripled in the last 10 years. YNSECT also produces extensive green chemistry products. We applaud its effective use of robotics and advanced engineering to rear insects at an unprecedented large scale.
YNSECT was created in 2011 by four partners (Antoine Hubert, Jean-Gabriel Levon, Fabrice Berro and Alexis Angot). Today, with their demo plant in Jura, France, they manage the world's largest fully-automated insect rearing facility.
We would love to hear about your investment opportunity.
To better appreciate the opportunity, we would like to know:
· the type of products or services you are developing
· the industries and markets you intend to address
· why do you think that your proposition is innovative and will have an impact on the foreseeable protein shortage
We understand that the privacy of all information you provide is of primary importance and are committed to ensuring the ethical treatment and safeguarding of confidential information.
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