Shandi, a plant-based foodtech company based in Singapore, has raised more than $700,000 in its seed funding round led by Tolaram, one of Africa’s largest packaged food firms.
The Singapore startup said it will use the fresh capital to set up a manufacturing facility in the city-state to commercialise and scale its proprietary plant-based chicken products.
Shandi has already successfully produced chicken analogues in various formats such as pieces, shreds, strips, and drumsticks. However, the company said it will continue to allocate funds to further product innovation and development on new textures, formats, and other meat analogues.
Dr. Reena Sharma, Founder and CEO at Shandi, said the investment represents a strong validation of the startup’s technology and product.
“With its strong logistics and supply chain, forward-looking regulatory framework, and supportive government initiatives, Singapore is well-positioned to host our first commercial plant and we’re delighted to be setting up here,” Sharma added.
Shandi was founded in 2019 by Sharma, a food industry expert, research veteran, and lifelong vegetarian. The foodtech company uses a unique process to develop and manufacture their plant-based chicken, which is made only with natural, non-GMO ingredients such as pea protein, chickpeas, quinoa, flax seeds, brown rice, and coconut oil, and is free from artificial flavourings and other additives.
The seed funding round, which was also backed by Australia-based foodtech accelerator SparkLabs Cultiv8 and former CEO-India for Louis Dreyfus and prominent angel investor Simmarpal Singh, represents Tolaram’s first investment in the alternative protein category.
Tolaram is a Singapore enterprise with business interests across consumer products, fintech, and infrastructure. It operates 23 manufacturing facilities in Africa and leverages its deep distribution network to bring essential consumer goods to half a billion people in the region.
“We continue to see strong growth in the alternative protein category, especially when more affordable options become available for emerging markets. We believe that Shandi could be a game-changer as they have created a chicken substitute that not only tastes and behaves like the animal meat but is also priced at par with it,” said Deepak Singhal, managing director of Consumer Products at Tolaram.