June 27, 2019 2 min read

Israeli-Singapore agritech start-up, Simpliigood Asia, has launched its online business in premium fresh spirulina and spirulina-based products in Singapore

By Tom King

Tapping into the demand from environmentally conscious consumers looking for vegetarian substitutes, California-based Beyond Meat recently became the first vegan meat producer to go public. Could a new Singapore-based joint venture see similar success?

Hailed by some as the next superfood, Spirulina is about to become a well-known product in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, thanks to the vision of a prominent business family.

Amid the plant-based food revolution fuelled in part by climate change concerns, an Israeli-Singapore agritech start-up, Simpliigood Asia, has launched its online business in premium fresh spirulina and spirulina-based products in Singapore.

Simpliigood Asia is a joint venture between Tel Aviv-based Simpliigood and Sechel Asia. The latter is part of the Sassoon Investment Corporation, the Singapore-based family office of the Sassoon family. The latter has not disclosed exactly how much it has invested in the joint venture.

Sechel Asia is an advisory and operating company based in Singapore which partners promising start-ups, especially those from Israel, to help them penetrate and scale in the Asia-Pacific.

The joint venture comes at a time when the Singapore government is actively promoting the agritech sector to produce 30 percent of the country’s nutrition by 2030 from the current level of below 10 percent.

As it has with its push to become the leading Asian hub for financial technology, the Lion City wants to position the Republic as a leading urban agriculture and aquaculture technology hub for the region.

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that people currently take as a dietary supplement. It is considered a superfood due to its nutritional content and claimed health benefits. Research suggests that spirulina has antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties.

The organism has a high protein and vitamin content, which makes it a suitable dietary supplement for people on vegetarian or vegan diets.

As an ecologically sound, nutrient-rich dietary supplement which is economical to produce, spirulina is being considered as a key ingredient to address food security and malnutrition.

As well as appealing to the health-conscious, the product can also potentially fill nutrition gaps and offer dietary support in the highly-populated emerging and frontier markets in Asia.

Among its advantages for food security is that it needs less land and water than livestock to produce protein and energy.

“Our goal is to reintroduce spirulina as a staple food and a staple ingredient for better nutrition and sustainability, it is the next generation of protein sources which can tackle some of the challenges with current plant-based crops including peas and soya,” said Baruch Dach, co-founder and chief technology officer of Simpliigood.

Spirulina is transitioning from the traditional supplement sector into the health and wellness market as a staple ingredient, with a growth forecast of over 10 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years. 

As featured on The Asset