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Green Monday Holdings, Asia's answer to Beyond Meat, raises $70 million from TPG, Swire Pacific

Jonathan Shieber
·2-min read
In this picture taken on June 5, 2017 a piglet is seen at a pig farm on the outskirts of Beijing. Millions of backyard pig farmers in China are being forced out of the industry as the government cracks down on pollution and encourages producers to expand their operations with the aim of modernizing the industry and smoothing out fluctuations in prices and supply. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI / TO GO WITH: China-agriculture-economy-pork, FOCUS by Allison JACKSON (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
In this picture taken on June 5, 2017 a piglet is seen at a pig farm on the outskirts of Beijing. Millions of backyard pig farmers in China are being forced out of the industry as the government cracks down on pollution and encourages producers to expand their operations with the aim of modernizing the industry and smoothing out fluctuations in prices and supply. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS ASFOURI / TO GO WITH: China-agriculture-economy-pork, FOCUS by Allison JACKSON (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Green Monday Holdings, a manufacturer of plant-based pork substitute products and frozen meals and an operator of a chain of vegetarian-focused retail outlets and cafes, said it has raised $70 million in financing from investors, including TPG's The Rise Fund and the massive conglomerate Swire Pacific.

It's one of the largest investments in a plant-based meat replacement company headquartered in Asia, and comes as investments into companies developing alternatives to animal proteins continue to surge.

It's also a huge infusion of cash for the business arm of what may be Hong Kong's largest vegetarian advocacy group.

Born out of a social movement that started on Earth Day in Hong Kong in 2012 (and was inspired by the Meatless Monday campaign in the U.S.), the Green Monday organization advocates for consumers to dedicate at least one day a week to going meatless.

Its founder, David Yeung, is a longtime Buddhist and (mostly) vegetarian who founded the organization with Francis Ngai, the head of Social Ventures Hong Kong, after a lunchtime conversation over how to promote sustainable living in one of the world's most populous cities.

Other investors in the round include, CPT Capital, Jefferies Group and Sino Group's Ng Family Trust, along with previous corporate and celebrity investors like Lee Kum Kee Health Products Happiness Capital, the singer Wang Leehom, James Cameron and environmental activist Mary McCartney.

Green Monday Holdings, part of the Green Monday Group, operates two lines of business under the OmniFoods and Green Common brands. OmniFoods makes pork alternatives and prepared frozen meals, while Green Common is a retailer and restaurant for plant-based products.

The company said it will use the money to expand into 10 new markets across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America, add 20,000 new retail outlets for its products and launch new flagship stores for its Green Common retail locations in China and Singapore.

With the new financing, the company has added a key strategic partner in Swire Pacific.

"Our airline Cathay Pacific has been serving OmniPork onboard and we look forward to working together further to develop new menus to suit the taste of our passengers - many of whom have a deep interest in health, wellness and environmental sustainability," said David Cogman, Development Director, Swire Pacific, in a statement. "We are also in discussion about working together on the retail front: we have a network of malls, hotels and food and beverage businesses in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, as well as associated supply chain operations across the country. We are very excited about our partnership with David and Green Monday to develop new collaborations across our group companies, to make our shared vision a reality.”