Tyson Foods' corporate venturing unit has contributed to foodtech-focused Big Idea Ventures' New Protein Fund, which is aiming for $50m to $75m.

US-headquartered venture capital firm Big Idea Ventures plans to close its first fund at $50m to $75m and has secured meat product supplier Tyson Foods as a limited partner, DealStreetAsia reported yesterday.

The firm has raised roughly half of New Protein Fund, from LPs that also include the Singaporean government-owned Temasek and Enterprise Singapore, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, two Asian families with links to the food industry and a private investor from the UK.

Founded in 2018, Big Idea is concentrating on plant-based food, alternative protein and ingredient developers and is operating accelerators in the US and Singapore, in addition to making VC investments.

New Protein Fund is expected to back some 100 startups altogether, and the firm is talking to potential LPs in North America, Asia and the Middle East with an interest in innovative food technologies and climate change mitigation.

Big Idea has so far invested in Shiok Meats, a Singapore-headquartered developer of cell-based prawn meat, but it is focusing on its accelerators.

The New York accelerator launched in September 2019 and will operate five-month programs twice a year. Graduates of both accelerators will receive $125,000 in equity funding and $75,000 in services, and Big Idea may invest up to $3.5m in their first subsequent funding round.

Tyson made its commitment to New Protein Fund through its $150m corporate venturing vehicle, Tyson Ventures.