DFSS is coming up March 29th and we’re bringing some of the participants to you now with a pre-summit interview. In this edition we talk to Michal Klar, Founder & CEO of Future Food Now. If you want to see a listing of speakers and sessions, please click here. To register as a delegate, click here.
1. What would you say to investors to convince them to enter the sustainable alternatives to animal based products space?
The time is now – this is an industry at its infancy in Asia-Pacific region, but already at the fast growth phase in other markets. There is an opportunity to get involved early – it’s like investing in Amazon or Google in their first years. Just like at some point it was clear that the world will go digital, there is no doubt the food system will shift towards sustainable, animal-free options for meat, dairy and eggs. The global consumer momentum is clearly there and it is just reaching Asia.
2. What would be the minimum investment needed?
Many plant-based and cell-based companies, especially in Asia, are just starting and they are raising their very first seed capital from angel investors. These rounds are often in range of 250-500k USD and individual “angel” typically puts in between 30k and 100k, but there are exceptions. Of course these are high-risk investments, often before any product is ready. When it comes to investing in more established companies – with some traction already, the rounds are typically multimillion dollar and are often joined by established venture capital investors. The first IPO in this space is expected sometime this year, which will give opportunity to get involved to even more investors.
3. You produce a newsletter about the space. Please tell us about it. How can people subscribe, and how do you source material?
Yes, I send a newsletter called Future Food Now with monthly updates about plant-based and cell-based industries in Asia-Pacific region. I typically cover startups from the region, new investments and product launches. I source stories from various news outlets, but often I reach out directly to the companies and people from the industry to get extra depth or cover news missed by mainstream publications. To subscribe, just go to http://futurefoodnow.net
4. Estimates vary as to when humans will stop making food from animals. Some people say 25 years, others say by the end of this century, and other say it will never happen. What’s your prediction?
I definitely believe one day we will all eat only plant-based and possibly cell-based food. Massive changes like this take a lot of time, so full transition will take decades or possibly centuries. Like with other major shifts at the crossroads of technology and culture, different countries and societies will see very different pace of change, but the progress cannot be stopped, so they will all eventually get there.