New business news: The top 10 most popular start-up stories of 2018

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

See the top 10  stories relating to start-ups this year. ©Pixabay
See the top 10 stories relating to start-ups this year. ©Pixabay

Related tags Top 10 start-up

In our year-end round up of the top 10 stories relating to start-ups this year, we recap the firm’s that have made breakthroughs in new products, from tea to chips to plant-based products.

JUST CEO Josh Tetrick reveals billion-dollar start-up will open first Asia manufacturing site

Billion-dollar US start-up JUST opened its first manufacturing site in Asia this year​, with CEO Josh Tetrick telling us in an exclusive interview that Asia holds huge promise for the egg-free and 'clean meat' firm.

San Francisco-headquartered JUST manufactures egg-free mayo, dressings, cookie dough and its Scramble product – an egg-free scrambled egg for foodservice outlets.

 “We are currently talking to different governments about this,” ​Tetrick said. “We need to make sure we can access high quality facilities for both upstream and downstream manufacturing processes.”


Clean meat start-up SuperMeat raises US$4m with​ backing from traditional industry players

Israeli clean meat start-up SuperMeat has announced it has raised close to US$4m​ from its seed funding round.

This money will fund SuperMeat’s clean meat development, which aims to develop cultured chicken meat and to mass produce it.

In an update, Shir Friedman, co-founder and head of communications of SuperMeat, said the company has been in contact with more investors from Asia and the US.

“Not only are traditional meat companies not against SuperMeat’s clean meat, they’re actually supporting it and putting their money on it,” ​said Friedman.


Financing the War on Diabetes: GI-lowering tech creator Alchemy FoodTech secures seven-figure investment 

Singaporean start-up Alchemy FoodTech​ has obtained investments in the seven-digit range through a pre-series A round of funding.

“The funding will fuel the company’s next stage of technology and product development, talent acquisition, and manufacturing capabilities,”​ said Alchemy FoodTech in its official press release.

Alchemy’s keynote invention, 5ibrePlus™, is an additive comprising glycemic lowering technology which is designed to ‘lower the GI of traditionally high GI refined carbohydrates, such as white rice, bread and noodles, without changing the taste, texture and colour of the food.’


How to CSI your tea: ‘Fingerprint’ authenticity technology aims to revolutionise sector

New Singaporean retail-tech startup teapasar aims to use unique new ‘tea-fingerprinting’ technology​ to revolutionise the way the world buys and consumes their tea.

Termed ProfilePrint, the technology was developed by teapasar in collaboration with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Food Science and Technology Programme and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) BioTransformation Innovation Platform (BioTrans).

The tea fingerprint is formed using metabolomics to develop unique profiles for each tea.


Coca-Cola’s ‘disruptive’ focus: Amatil partners with three start-ups in bid to boost business growth

Coca-Cola Amatil has partnered three Australian technology-based start-ups​ in an effort to improve customer experience and accelerate business growth.

The three start-ups are: Hospitality platform Bellr, which partners brands in promotions and loyalty programme tailoring; Crowdsourcing platform Snooper, with a 35,000-strong Australian community that provides brands with app-collected consumer insights; and efficiency optimisation tool Staybil, which uses both machine learning and mobility to drive organisational improvement.

All three were selected by Coca-Cola Amatil via Xcelerate, the company’s accelerator programme which ran for the first time ever this year.


Profiting from probiotics: Aussie start-up's sparkling beverages gaining ground in APAC

Australian start-up Kréol​ could be one of the country's first to develop a line of dual-strain sparkling probiotic beverages, according to co-founder Andrew Rush.

"We aware of other brands doing probiotic drinks, and many brands are now referring to kombucha as a sparkling probiotic drink. But we have not seen any other dual-strain probiotic (beverage) in Australia,” ​said Rush.

The strains Lactobacillus Plantarum ​and Bacillus Coagulans​ are used in Kréol's probiotic drinks, which were "carefully selected" ​as they "support gut flora, are hardy, and have good survival rates through stomach acids, so as to be able to colonise in the gastrointestinal tract"​.


Jumping on the hojicha bandwagon: Canadian start-up eyes North American and Asian markets

Foreseeing that hojicha will become one of the most popular tea varieties, Canadian start-up Hōjicha Co is devoting its resources to sell only hojicha products​.

For a start, it is eyeing the North American and Asian markets.

Just last month, it has launched two loose leaf tea products – Hojicha Dark Roast and Hojicha Gold Roast. The former is a premium grade green tea, while the latter is said to produce a deep, smoky and sweet taste.

The sourcing of tea leaves and packaging process are entirely completed in Kyoto.


Bak kwa popcorn: Singaporean start-up launches new locally-inspired range

Singaporean start-up The Kettle Gourmet is branching out into local-flavoured popcorn​ such as bak kwa, and will soon launch more exotic flavours such as chicken rice and chilli crab.

The company already has a teh tarik — “pulled tea” — product, and the bak kwa — sweetened barbecued pork — is available from this week, in the run-up to Chinese New Year.

“We pride ourselves in our ever-changing, innovative flavours. If it takes off well, we will definitely be open to making it a core flavour,”​ said Zac Chua, founder and CEO.


Mother and son’s plant-based dairy start-up seeks to become India’s biggest

A unique mother-son duo’s plant-based dairy start-up in Bangalore, India​, has been growing business rapidly, with new products to be launched within the next three months.

Abhay Rangan, 21, founder and CEO of Veganarke, said the upcoming new products will include plant-based cheese, butter and ghee.

“We plan to become the largest (vegan) plant-player in the country in the next five years,” ​he said.

Currently, Veganarke’s main vegan products under its Goodmylk brand are peanut milk (60-220 rupees), coconut milk (50-150 rupees, but clearing stock) and a peanut curd (80 rupees), said to be the world’s only shelf-stable vegan yoghurt or curd.


The chips are up: Singaporean start-up packing a punch with traditional dish flavours

A Singaporean start-up is finding favour with its locally-inspired potato chips​ — available in Hainanese Chicken Rice and Singapore Laksa flavours — now on the shelves in leading supermarkets.

F. East, short for Flavours of the East, first launched its local-flavoured potato chips at the end of last year. At the time, the husband and wife team of Lee Yue Jer and Kee Vern Cheng only sold their products from their temporary booth in the central business district, and online from Redmart.

However, they can now be purchased from all Giant hypermarkets and supermarkets, most 7-Eleven stores, selected NTUC Fairprice hypermarkets and supermarkets, myCK department stores, as well as Redmart.

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