(Yicai Global) July 8 -- Xuerong Biotechnology, China's largest mushroom producer, will invest CNY14 million (USD2 million) in artificial meat startup Vesta Food Lab to become its fourth-largest shareholder.
Xuerong will work with Vesta to develop fungus-based protein products, the Shanghai-based investor said in a statement today. It will have a 10 percent stake in the latter. Meanwhile, Vesta founder and Chief Executive Xie Zihan's shareholding will fall to 54 percent.
The world's artificial meat craze has reached China as KFC and Starbucks have piloted veggie meat products on their menus this year. In June, Yum China Holdings said that it will join hands with Beyond Meat to serve related items, including Beyond Burgers, as a limited offering at some KFCs, Pizza Huts, and Taco Bells.
Founded in 2019, Beijing-based Vesta is one of the earliest companies in China to try to come up with plant-based meat products. In April, it launched meatless spaghetti bolognese with domestic instant noodle brand Ramen Talk. Last month, it joined hands with Beijing-based restaurant chain Jin Ding Xuan to come up with new dishes.
Established in 1997, Xuerong had a daily output of 1,170 tons of mushrooms by the end of last year. It made CNY220 million in net profit that year and CNY2 billion (USD284.9 million) in revenue.
Xuerong's stock price [SHE:300511] fell 1.8 percent to CNY13.40 (USD1.90) this afternoon. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Stock Composite Index was 1.4 percent up.
Editor: Emmi Laine