Shaka Harry, best performing plant-based meat brand raises seed funding of US$ 2 Million led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and Panthera Peak

Liberate Foods PvtLtd., a plant protein company with a meat alternate line, Shaka Harry has received a total investment of US$ 2 M  in  seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and venture debt fund – Panthera PeakOther investors include; Dexler Holdings, Chef Manu Chandra and a group of domestic family offices and angel investors.

Liberate Foods is founded by proven founders with prior experience and success in scaling businesses in India and globallyThe cofounders include Anand Nagarajan, Sandeep Devgan, Hemalatha Srinivasan, Ruth Renita and Anoop HaridasanThe cofounders and leadership team consists of specialist, functional leaders with extensive experience in the food sectorShaka Harry, one of the fastest growing plantbased meat brand offers a range of meal and snacking products which are designed around the Indian cuisine and palateThe range includes; snackables and meal accompanimentsThe product has a distinct advantage with access to proprietary taste and flavour solutions coupled with the brand’s partnership with Chef Manu Chandra, one of India’s top chefs.

Anand Nagarajan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry
Anand Nagarajan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry

Anand Nagarajan, Cofounder, Shaka Harry said, “It is the most exciting time to launch a consumer brand on the smarter protein platformWe are already the best performing brand in the online stores where we have presenceOur products are doing significantly better than competition on taste and customer responseWhen we think about sustainability, we usually think about energy and transportationFood is an area that can move the sustainability needle much moreWinning a consumer segment in the food space needs a welldesigned product range, deep expertise in taste and flavour and consistent customer experienceThe team at Shaka Harry, with inhouse flavour and taste solutions coupled with an experienced team is poised to build the market leading brand in plantbased products.

Sandeep Devgan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry
Sandeep Devgan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry

Sandeep Devgan, Cofounder, Shaka Harry commented, “Plantbased meats have a huge scope of acceptability in India, particularly among the growing flexitarian populationYet not many brands have been able to make a mark due to the inability to replicate real meaty tastes in vegetarian profilesThat’s where Shaka Harry has been able to make a differenceBy partnering with top flavourists, who are masters in recreating impactful meaty top notes using vegetarian ingredients, we have been able to offer Indian consumers a firstofitskind ‘justlikechicken’ & ‘justlike mutton experience’ minus the guilt.

The company has a monthly customer base of 25,000The monthly growth expected  for the next few quarters is around 20 to 30%. Shaka Harry aims at aggressive growth over the next 5 yearsShaka Harry range of products are available across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon.

Simon Newstead, Founding Partner, Better Bite Ventures said, “As an Asian altprotein fund, Better Bite Ventures invests in earlystage startups creating a more sustainable food system in the most populous region in the worldAnd as such, we’re particularly optimistic about India’s opportunityThe nation has a clear opportunity to become a regional leader in plantbased foods and leapfrog other countries in adopting climatefriendly smart proteins, driven by a growing movement of conscious consumers motivated by taste, health and the environmentWhich leads us to our investment in Shaka Harry, who brings a range of craveworthy, locally resonant plantbased products to market.  We’ve been impressed by both the team, technology and traction with consumers and channels alikeAnand’s vision to have products to enjoy from morning till night, from snacking to main meals, and for everyone resonates stronglyWe’re excited to support the team for long term success in this important market.

Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon
Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon

Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon said, “We are very excited about our first investment in IndiaShaka Harry is one of the first mover in a new sector offering a wide product range tailored to the Indian cuisineThis will work well not only in India but also internationallyIn a very recent study, a large consumer survey conducted by Blue Horizon and BCG, we found that taste, nutritional value and health aspects rank highest when considering to increase the consumption of alternative proteinsShaka Harry addresses all these points and we look very much forward to working together with this highly focused and impactdriven team.

 Nikhil Bhandarkar, Founding Partner & CEO, Panthera Peak Ventures highlighted, “We invest in early stage startups led by visionary entrepreneursThis is one of the main reasons we have backed Shaka Harry as the founding and leadership team bring in lot of experience and expertise of the sectorThe growth of plantbased meat sector in India, coupled with the DirecttoConsumer boom underscore a massive potential for the Shaka Harry range of productsFurther, their vision of becoming a plant based meat platform beyond just a product company opens doors for significant market expansion.

Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India
Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India

Experts at nonprofit Good Food Institute India work closely with Liberate Foods and across the industry for advancement across science, business, and policyVarun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India, said With leading companies like Shaka Harry bringing plantbased meats to consumers across India, the last year has been smart protein’s breakout moment in the countryBut funding in Indian smart protein companies continues to lag far behind, remaining at a tiny fraction of the $11b invested globally over the last decadeRespected 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 recordShaka Harry’s fundraise is a further mark of the growing momentum in the Indian smart protein sector, as we enter a new phase of growth and centre India in the global landscape – all in service of protecting public and planetary health and improving food security.”

Chef Manu Chandra stated, “If I could convert from a skeptic to a believer in plant based futures, I’m sure, so could a lot of youWe’ve come such a long way from the once dreaded rubbery substitutes with dubious processes – to clean labelled and delicious alternativesIntervening as a chef to take the Shaka Harry product ranges to the next level of taste and texture has been an enriching experience, in realising how far this category can be pushedThe future is plant based, start now.

India is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for plantbased meat startups, with a large population of nonvegetarians looking to cut down their meat consumption due to a combination of concerns like sustainability and healthContrary to popular opinion, 77of Indians selfidentify as nonvegetarians as per the latest National Family Health Survey – NFHS 5The Indian market is ripe for transformation, with consumers looking towards plantbased alternatives for a simple switch, without giving up the delicious appeal of meatResearch from expert nonprofit Good Food Institute India found that 63of Indian consumers are very or extremely likely to purchase plantbased meat in a crosscountry consumer acceptance studyThis response from consumers – most of whom are currently ‘early adopters’ of plantbased meat – compared favourably with the U.Sand China.

Shaka Harry has a large assortment of plant based Ready to Eat foods range for customers looking to substitutesupplement their meat intake with plantbased foodsThe goal is to offer Shaka Harry as a healthy and tasty meat alternative and to deliver Shaka Harry products to every Indian household to begin a trial.

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