SEOUL, July 26 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Inc., South Korean conglomerate SK Group’s holding company, said Monday it will team up with Chinese food company Joyvio Group to create a 100 billion won (US$86.7 million) fund focused on food tech startups and tap into the growing alternative food market.
The two have signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Sustainable Food & Consumption Fund to invest in alternative food, such as plant-based meat and fermented protein.
The two companies also agreed to partner with innovative food tech startups, such as vertical farming companies, and tap into the alternative food market in China.
SK said it will chip in 18 billion won, while the remainder will be funded by Joyvio Group, several Chinese food companies and government-led funds in China.
In 2019, SK and a Korean private equity fund jointly invested 22 billion won in Joyvio Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s investment holding company Legend Holdings Corp.
Joyvio Group is the largest producer of blueberries and kiwis in China and has expanded its global presence via partnerships with multinational fruit and vegetable producers based in Chile and Australia.
SK has been exploring new business opportunities in the food market, investing 54 billion won in U.S. food startup Perfect Day, which is known for its animal-free milk protein.