Shaka Harry, a plant-based meat brand from Liberate Foods, has received a total investment of US$2 million in a seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and venture debt fund – Panthera Peak. Other investors include; Dexler Holdings, Chief Manu Chandra and a group of national family offices and angel investors.
Shaka Harry, one of the fastest growing plant-based meat brands, offers a range of meals and snacks designed around Indian cuisine and palates. The range includes; snacks and meal accompaniments. The product has a distinct advantage with access to exclusive taste and flavor solutions associated with the brand’s partnership with Chef Manu Chandra, one of India’s top chefs.
Liberate Foods is founded by proven founders with previous experience and success in scaling businesses in India and globally. The startup’s co-founders and management team are made up of specialist and functional leaders with extensive experience in the food industry.
Highlight the plant-based food trend, Anand Nagarajan, co-founder, Shaka Harry said, “This is the most exciting time to launch a consumer brand on the smarter protein platform. We are already the most successful brand in the online stores where we are present. Our products significantly outperform the competition in taste and customer response. When we think of sustainability, we usually think of energy and transportation. Food is one area that can move the sustainability needle a lot more. Winning a consumer segment in the food space requires a well-designed product line, deep taste and flavor expertise, and a consistent customer experience.
“The Shaka Harry team, with in-house flavor and taste solutions combined with an experienced team, is poised to create the market-leading brand of herbal products,” added Nagarajan.
Read more: Plant-based meat market will grow exponentially in 10 years: Abhishek Sinha, GoodDot
Describing the potential of plant-based meat, Sandeep Devgan, co-founder, Shaka Harry said, “Plant-based meats have a huge scope of acceptability in India, especially among the growing flexitarian population. Yet few brands have been able to stand out due to their inability to replicate true meat tastes in vegetarian profiles. This is where Shaka Harry was able to make the difference. By partnering with the finest flavoring agents, who are masters at recreating punchy, meaty top notes using vegetarian ingredients, we have been able to offer Indian consumers a “chicken-like” experience. and “like sheep” one of a kind. minus the guilt.
The company has a monthly customer base of 25,000. Expected monthly growth for the next few quarters is in the range of 20-30%. Shaka Harry is aiming for aggressive growth over the next 5 years. The Shaka Harry product range is available in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Gurugram.
Talking about investing in Shaka Harry, Simon Newstead, Founding Partner, Better Bite Ventures said: “As Asia’s alternative protein fund, Better Bite Ventures invests in early-stage startups creating a more sustainable food system in the world’s most populous region. And as such, we are particularly optimistic about India’s opportunities. The nation has a clear opportunity to become a regional leader in plant-based foods and leapfrog other countries in embracing climate-friendly smart proteins, driven by a growing movement of conscious consumers motivated by taste, health and the environment. This leads us to our investment in Shaka Harry, which brings a range of locally resonant and worthwhile herbal products to market.
Looking to the future of such innovative interventions in the food sector, Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon said: “We are delighted with our first investment in India. Shaka Harry is one of the pioneers of a new sector offering a wide range of products suitable for Indian cuisine. It will work well not only in India but also internationally. In a very recent study, a large consumer survey conducted by Blue Horizon and BCG, we found that taste, nutritional value and health aspects are most important when considering increasing consumption of alternative proteins. Shaka Harry addresses all of these points and we look forward to working with this highly focused and impact driven team.
Speaking on the potential of the plant-based meat market in India, Nikhil Bhandarkar, Founding Partner and CEO, Panthera Peak Ventures pointed out, “We invest in early-stage startups led by visionary entrepreneurs. This is one of the main reasons we supported Shaka Harry, as the founding and management team bring a wealth of industry experience and expertise. The growth of the plant-based meat sector in India, coupled with the direct-to-consumer boom, underscores enormous potential for the Shaka Harry product line. Additionally, their vision to become a plant-based meat platform beyond just a commodity business opens doors for significant market expansion.
Read more: Government extends support for building a strong plant-based food industry
Experts at the nonprofit Good Food Institute India work closely with Liberate Foods and across industry to advance science, business and policy. Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India, said: “With leading companies like Shaka Harry bringing plant-based meats to consumers across India, the last year has been breakout time for smart protein in the country. But funding for Indian smart protein companies lags far behind, remaining at a tiny fraction of the $11 billion invested globally over the past decade. Respected investors like Blue Horizon, Better Bite Ventures, Panthera Peak Ventures and Manu Chandra bring deep credibility and expertise through their food and startup investing track records.
“Shaka Harry’s fundraising is a further mark of the growing momentum in India’s smart protein sector as we enter a new phase of growth and center India in the global landscape – all at the same time. service of protecting public and planetary health and improving food security,” Deshpande added.
Chef Manu Chandra said: “If I could go from a skeptic to a believer in the future of plants, I’m sure many of you could too. We’ve come such a long way from once-dreaded rubbery substitutes with dodgy processes – to cleaning up labeled, delicious alternatives. Stepping in as a chef to take the Shaka Harry product lines to the next level of taste and texture has been an enriching experience, realizing how far this category can be taken. The future is plant-based, start now.
India is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for plant-based meat startups, with a large population of non-vegetarians looking to reduce their meat consumption due to a combination of concerns such as sustainability and health . Contrary to popular opinion, 77% of Indians identify as non-vegetarians according to the latest National Family Health Survey – NFHS 5. The Indian market is ripe for transformation as consumers turn to plant-based alternatives. plants for a simple change, without giving up the delicious appeal of meat. A study conducted by non-profit expert Good Food Institute India found that 63% of Indian consumers are very or extremely likely to buy plant-based meat in a consumer acceptance study across the country. This reaction from consumers – most of whom are currently “early adopters” of plant-based meat – compares favorably to that of the United States and China.
Shaka Harry offers a wide assortment of plant-based “ready to eat” foods for customers looking to replace and supplement their meat intake with plant-based foods. Liberate Foods aims to offer Shaka Harry as a healthy and tasty meat alternative and deliver Shaka Harry products to every Indian household to start a trial.
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