INDIA – Israel food-tech startup, Nextferm, a developer of alternative yeast-based nutrients, has entered into a co-operate agreement with Kothari Fermentation and Biochem, a subcontractor in India for the commercial manufacturing of its fermented vegan protein in India.

The factory in India will replace Nextferm’s previous plans for the establishment of a manufacturing plant with a subcontractor in North Macedonia.

“In the past few months, we have focused on finding an efficient and flexible production alternative to the production facility that was planned to be established in North Macedonia, which will be in line with the company’s capabilities and financial resources,” said Boaz Noy, Nextferm’s CEO.

“The production setup that will be established in India will allow us to meet the growing demand for ProteVin, with a lower investment than planned and with the ability to increase future capacity.”

He also noted that ProteVin is the only alternative protein on the market today with a neutral taste and an animal-like nutritional value, and Nextferm is working to have the product a leading solution in the global alternative protein industry.

“ProteVin, the vegan, non-GMO fermented protein powder, have a similar nutritional value to animal protein and comes with a neutral taste and flavour, meaning it has no aftertastes that are typical of plant-based protein,” Noy said.

Nextferm is tapping into the global alternative protein market, which is estimated to be valued at US$76.3 billion in 2023 and is predicted to reach US$423 billion by 2033, according to a report by Future Market Insights.

Since last year’s rollout of the commercial production of ProteVin, Nextferm has received purchase orders and supply agreements of more than US$3 million from the US, Germany, Singapore and South America as of the end of March.

Nextferm went public in 2021 raising US$8.09 million at a company valuation of US$30 million on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In March this year, the startup raised US$5.2 million from investors taking the total funds nabbed to date to US$36 million.

In 2022, Israel ranked second after the US in alternative protein investments, with local startups in the field raising some US$454 million in the capital, according to data by the Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel, with about 60% of all investments going to alternative protein startups.

In fermented proteins, which use microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, Israel is also second place in the US, taking 18% of global investment in this field with US$147 million in investments in 2022, according to the data.

One of the most notable deals last year in the alternative protein market by an Israeli food tech startup was the US$124 million raised by Remilk, a developer of animal-free milk and dairy.

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