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Gulfood Green 2024

13 Sep 2023

HN-Novatech bags US$4 million in funding and launches the world's first proprietary seaweed heme ingredient

HN-Novatech bags US$4 million in funding and launches the world's first proprietary seaweed heme ingredient

Korean award-winning food-tech startup, HN Novatech, is launching ACOMS, the world's first proprietary heme-based seaweed ingredient for plant-based meat applications. On the 16 August 2023, a group of leading Southeast Asian investors were treated to an exclusive and first taste test of HN Novatech's signature ingredient in, during Novatech's exclusive Southeast Asian launch in Singapore jointly organized by Singapore Tembusutech Innovation and KILSA Global.

HN Novatech is an award-winning food materials technology company in South Korea with 19 patents filed under its belt to date. The company specializes in developing sustainable and cutting-edge food ingredient alternatives, while maintaining a strong drive for culinary and palate excellence in its ingredient applications.

ACOMS, the name of the protein found and extracted from seaweed, when applied to plant based meat primers, is what gives it its 'accurate meat' flavor. At the same time, HN Novatech's protein extraction process and final product rendering is additive and preservatives free – causing it to truly stand out.

Sean Tan (Co-founder, KILSA Global), explained that the historical presence of seaweed in Asian diets spans centuries. As part of HN Novatech's exclusive global management office team in Singapore, it's thrilling to observe how these oceanic veggies can be integrated into meat alternatives. The enthusiastic response and engagements from the event underline a dedicated move toward a more sustainable future.

HN Novatech has recently secured US$4 million in funding in its Series-A bridge round with Logan Ventures as its lead investor. The founding partner of Logan Ventures, remarked, "We are excited to partner with Novatech, a leading agtech startup in Asia, to offer natural meat alternatives which are delicious and healthy to meet a rising global demand."

Notably, HN Novatech's fundraise has occurred in an environment that has witnessed the steepest fall in global venture funding, where in the first half of 2023, startup funding fell by 48% where many companies have struggled to raise capital throughout the year.

During this time, HN Novatech's CEO, Kim Yang-hee, has hailed its successful capital raise as true testament to the growth of Novatech's advancing food technological capabilities and strong customer acquisition prospects for the months ahead. Additionally, Fortune Business Insider has remarked that the global meat substitutes market size was valued at US$5.41 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to US$12.3 billion by 2029.

In recent times, the company has begun its venture into Asia Pacific regions with an eventual target of establishing itself as a globally acclaimed novel food materials leader, with a construction of a food technology processing facility beginning first in Korea. HN Novatech has also developed extremely strong R&D capabilities having assembled a world-class team of biotech engineers, food scientists, nutritionists and experienced professionals in business and sustainability enabling them to tackle complex problems and face challenges up ahead.

Yang-Hee remarked that the alternative meat industry's surge in the USA and Europe is mirrored in Asia, where Singapore's appeal to multinational companies is bolstered by its strategic location, skilled workforce, and government support. HN Novatech is seizing this momentum by establishing a presence in Singapore, positioning itself as a key player in the growing plant-based meat substitute market within the ASEAN region.

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