China has a dairy insecurity dilemma.
Despite being the third largest dairy producer, it imports 30% of its dairy milk. And demand is trending upward across dairy products. In 2021, per capita consumption of milk in China reached 14.4 kg, 10.6% higher than the previous year. More growth is expected as this consumption level is still fairly low compared to others, including Japan (32.13 kg) and the US (63.08 kg). Plenty more cows have to be raised. But the increased livestock production would bring about pollution concerns that undermine China’s effort towards its 2060 carbon neutrality goal.
Against this backdrop, this year Chinese president Xi Jinping advocated the development of biotechnology for improving protein security. This announcement came on the heels of last year’s 14th Five-Year Plan, which had a similar call to explore alternative protein and reduce the environmental pressure from conventional farming.
Enter Changing Biotech.
Changing is a Chinese food tech company fermenting proteins from microbes. The company’s first product is a single-cell protein from a fungi strain already approved in China as an edible microorganism. Its five-ton fermentation facility is now producing samples for customers. Using its high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat, zero-carb ingredient, it has developed an array of applications including milk, yogurt, chocolate, cookies, and snack puffs. In parallel, Changing is also developing recombinant proteins to expand its portfolio of ingredients that can reduce carbon emissions.
Changing stands out with its strong strain development and chassis construction capabilities along with in-house fermentation and purification expertise. All of this is crucial for continuously discovering and commercializing suitable microorganisms at competitive costs at scale. At the helm is founder Bin Luo, a bio industry entrepreneur bringing plant extraction and food industry experience.
Bits x Bites is proud to lead the new $22M Series A raise, having observed Changing’s technology and product development progress since backing its previous $8.5M Pre-A round. Other investors that joined Bits x Bites include Eight Roads Ventures, Sherpa Healthcare Partners, and Hillhouse.