Thai Union venture fund invests in smart farming startup
The company will invest in HydroNeo, a German high-tech company that develops comprehensive solutions for smart aquaculture management.
Thai Union announced four new investments in the food tech space through its recently created venture fund, which focuses on alternative protein, functional nutrition and value chain technology startups.
The company will invest in HydroNeo, a German high-tech company that develops comprehensive solutions for smart aquaculture management. Their IoT-system is designed to integrate into existing production sites to monitor the quality of water for breeding and farming of shrimp and automate operations. Through the detection of fluctuations in water quality, farmers are enabled to take countermeasures for reducing the risk of animal losses while the optimized controlling of energy-intensive aeration and feeding increases farm efficiency. HydroNeo's solution makes farm operations more profitable and at the same time more sustainable.
HydroNeo was part of the first cohort of SPACE-F, the first food tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand, which Thai Union is a founding partner of, alongside Mahidol University and Thailand's National Innovation Agency (NIA).
Thai Union will also invest in Alchemy Foodtech Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based diabetes food tech innovation company; Manna Foods Co, an insect tech and e-commerce company in the U.S.; and VisVires New Protein, a Singapore-based food tech investment fund.
“We are committed to Open Innovation as an important part of Thai Union's innovation strategy, complementing our in-house innovation efforts. As such, we are working with external parties including universities, research institutions and the broader food tech ecosystem to support and fast-track innovative ideas and technologies. Our venture capital investments in the food tech space are an important part of this. Of course, our investment in these companies goes beyond a financial commitment as we also intend to provide guidance and support and will look to pursue collaborations wherever possible,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of Thai Union.
Thai Union’s venture fund was launched in 2019 with an initial commitment of $30 million and focuses its investments on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and new technologies along the food value chain. Thai Union is investing in early-stage entrepreneurial companies that are active in these areas and will actively partner with these companies to support and accelerate their development.
Photo source: HydroNeo.