Israel-based InnovoPro is targeting omnivores looking to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy.
The foodtech company, which develops vegan protein using chickpeas, said it has raised $4.25 million backed by investors including Switzerland’s largest retailer Migros, a Chinese foodtech VC fund and Israeli entrepreneur Erel Margalit, the founder and chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners.
The funds will be used to grow production, sales and expand into global markets, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The market for plant-based protein is estimated at $40 billion, but the firm has its sights set on targeting the $900-billion market for meat, fish and poultry.
Every year, some 1.3 billion tons of food go to waste worldwide and InnovoPro aims to provide sustainable and innovative solutions to feed the growing global population.
“In view of the global food scarcity issues, the world cannot continue consuming meat and dairy food as it does today,” said Margalit. “As the world’s population continues to grow, we need to find new, sustainable food solutions. InnovoPro’s development is a global breakthrough poised to revolutionize the way the world consumes protein.”
The firm claims to be “the first in the world” to produce what it says is a 70 percent protein concentrate from chickpeas, with a high nutritional value.
Prototype products the group has developed based on its chickpea protein come in a range of offerings including dairy and meat alternatives, snacks such as dairy-free pudding and ice cream, and condiments like egg-free mayonnaise. Its products are non-GMO, non-allergenic, and gluten-free.
“The growing demand for plant-based protein is setting new records with every year that goes by,” says Taly Nechushtan, CEO of InnovoPro. “We believe that developing a tasty, gluten-free food ingredient could provide the answer to the rising demand for plant-based protein products.”
For a consumer group not willing to compromise on taste, InnovoPro plans to appeal to customers with its chickpea-based product, which has no aftertaste and does not cause allergies.
Nechushtan explains, “Rather than targeting the vegetarian and vegan markets, we are responding to consumers who seek to reduce their meat and dairy consumption as well as consumers who look for soy-free, dairy-free or gluten-free products. At the same time, these consumers will not compromise on the product’s taste. This is a huge market which accounts to 69 percent of Germany’s population and to 30 percent of the US population.”
The first products based on chickpea proteins will be launched in 2019.