Seafood supplier Thai Union’s corporate venturing fund will focus on alternative food proteins, supply chain and functional nutrition technologies.
Thailand-based seafood product manufacturer Thai Union has committed $30m to a corporate venturing fund that will concentrate on food technology developers.
Founded in 1977, Thai Union offers packaged consumer seafood products including what it claims is the world’s largest supply of shelf-stable tuna.
The still unnamed fund will principally target three areas: alternative food proteins, functional nutrition and value chain opportunities. The company has not disclosed details of where and how much it plans to invest per deal.
The first recipient of funding from the unit is Thailand-based Flying Spark, which is working on low-cost protein powders cultured from larvae fruit flies whose body masses expand 250-fold during their seven-day lifespan.
Thai Union has also operated an industry-academia research and development hub dubbed Global Innovation Unit in the Thai city of Bangkok since 2015. It also joined a new Thailand-based foodtech accelerator called Space-F in July this year.
Space-F is also backed by workspace provider WeWork’s accelerator, WeWork Labs, the as well as Thailand’s National Innovation Agency and the science faculty at Mahidol University.
Thiraphong Chansiri, Thai Union’s chief executive, said: “Over the last years, Thai Union has made significant investments to become a leader in seafood innovation and sustainability.
“As we move into the coming decade, we will increasingly cooperate with innovative startups in strategically interesting areas. This will complement our own activities as we are broadening our business beyond our traditional core.”