SINGAPORE - Foodtech start-up Hoow Foods has raised $1.7 million in seed funding led by local food and beverage heritage brand Killiney Group, it said on Monday (Sept 9).
Other backers include Innovate360, Singapore's first government-backed food incubator, and Trive Ventures.
Hoow Foods was incorporated last year by four engineers and scientists from the National University of Singapore.
The team specialises in food reformulation, and has successfully reformulated common food products such as coffee and baked goods into healthier versions, while retaining their taste and texture.
One of Hoow Foods' first innovations is a line of premium ice creams that contain less than a third of the calories, fat and sugar served in Ben & Jerry's or Häagen-Dazs ice cream. They hit the shelves of FairPrice Finest last year, under the brand Callery's.
Hoow Foods is in the process of reformulating a wider range of foods. The seed funding will go towards expanding its research and development capabilities and staff strength.
Hoow Foods chief executive and co-founder Ow Yau Png said: "With our unique proprietary smart platform on food reformulation, we are confident of producing game-changing food products within unprecedented development speeds. With our experienced backgrounds in pharmaceutics and engineering, we hope to lead the new age of food technology, changing the way people consume food, and the food they consume."
Killiney Group director Woon Tien Yuan noted that the coffee shop chain has branched out into developing its own food pastes and premium instant beverages: "We are constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and to enter new markets.
"This strategic partnership (with Hoow Foods) allows Killiney to tap on Hoow Foods' expertise in food technology and food formulation, which signifies Killiney's strong belief in research and development. Further, this partnership marks Killiney's long-term direction and emphasis in producing quality, delicious and healthier food and beverages offerings under a truly homegrown Singapore brand."
John Cheng, director of Innovate 360 and of sugar business Cheng Yew Heng, said: "Consumers are seeking healthier options... Innovate 360 and Hoow Foods' collaboration would help us and the industry develop quick, ready and healthier solutions without compromising on taste."