Alt-protein startup OFF FOODS raises USD 1.7 mn seed round from Alpha JWC Ventures, GFC to accelerate adoption in Indonesia

Apr 19, 2022

Jakarta, 19 April 2022 – Indonesian-based food tech startup OFF FOODS today announced its USD 1.7 million Seed funding round led by Alpha JWC Ventures and participated by Global Founders Capital (GFC) and other strategic investors including Creative Gorilla Capital, Lemonilo, and United Family Capital (UFC).

Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Dominik Laurus and experienced plant-based businessman Jhameson Ko, OFF FOODS aims to be the leading alternative protein (‘Alt-Protein’) brand in Indonesia and beyond, and, in the founders’ words, “to provide the opportunity for more people in switching of meat from the animal for sustainability without compromising taste”. The company launched its flagship product OFF MEAT, a chicken-like protein, in August last year and since then the product has seen 10x growth in adoption through business-to-business (B2B) partnerships with restaurants.

OFF FOODS’ products are currently available in seven cities (Greater Jakarta Area, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and Bali) through its partner restaurants which include F&B franchise chains Gaaram and Wanfan, Jakarta’s fan-favorite Italian restaurant Mamma Rosy, and healthy restaurant and catering FITCO Eats. Additionally, multiple upcoming launches are expected, including with rice bowl chain Mangkokku which boasts 48 outlets, Japanese chain restaurant Zenbu, and burger chain Byurger. The company has also recently opened a new branch in Bali which is one of the most important plant-based food markets in Indonesia. OFF FOODS will see more adoption and partnership in the near future as OFF MEAT has high applicability in the kitchen, from fried ‘chicken’ to nuggets to traditional ‘chicken’ sambal matah, offering the large HORECA market in emerging markets a more localized taste and texture compared to alt-products available in the market today.

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“OFF MEAT is becoming the solution for the foodservice business in supplying plant-based meat fillets to the HORECA market. Our product is both affordable and customizable for chefs to create meatless dishes on their menu with their very own special recipe and technique. Customers will be able to enjoy a familiar taste from the restaurant in the form of a meatless dish and be a part of future sustainability,” says OFF FOODS co-founder and CPO Jhameson Ko.

OFF FOODS’ rapid expansion comes at a time when the plant-based sector as a whole is expected to reach a staggering USD 480 billion globally by 2024, according to a recent report from BIS research. The plant protein industry is also expected to continue to grow in Indonesia with a CAGR of 27.5 percent from 2021 to 2027, representing an increase of around sixfold by 2027 (data taken from Research and Markets).

Historically, plant-based adoption has been hindered by the premium price point it is often associated with. The challenge for competition in the space not only surrounds getting taste and texture right but also includes perfecting manufacturing know-how and efficiency to approach price parity. OFF MEAT attempts to solve this long-standing issue, as it comes with an affordable alternative, providing plant-based protein substitutes with at least half the price point of its competitors.

“Alternative protein took some time to fourish in developed markets due to the premium cost it came with. However, consumers have realized the value of health and environmental benefits that alt-food products bring. Now a revolution is just about to sweep developing markets such as Indonesia and it is an opportune time for OFF FOODS. With its great-tasting products, strong go-to-market strategy, and best-in-class cost structure suited for developing markets, we believe they are in a strong position to bring the alt-protein movement mainstream into Indonesian households,” says Eko Kurniadi, Partner at Alpha JWC Ventures.

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With this fresh seed capital, OFF FOODS plans to invest in its research and development to offer new variations of OFF MEAT, starting with other chicken-like options such as nuggets. The company will also continue to expand to other cities in Indonesia while also launching a direct-to-customer game plan to reach more users.

“We are doing more than just selling food. We are trailblazing a lifestyle change in Indonesia that hopefully will result in a healthier society and more sustainable earth. OFF MEAT and Indonesia are only our starting points. We are pleased to receive such enthusiasm from our new and existing investors, including established experts in the F&B industry, and we are excited to move forward with our product innovation, nationwide expansion soon, and eventually regional expansion in 2024,” says OFF FOODS co-founder and CEO Dominik Laurus.