August 16th, 2022

Real Tech Holdings joins KARANA’s Seed Extension Round

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Singapore, San Francisco, Tokyo. August 4, 2022.

Japanese venture firm Real Tech Holdings has completed an investment in Singapore headquartered, plant-based company, KARANA. The Real Tech investment is the latest tranche in KARANA’s seed extension round.

KARANA produces plant-based meat made from jackfruit, which was selected as a primary ingredient due to its sourcing sustainability, health, nutrition, texture, and flavor profiles. KARANA’s meat from jackfruit is sold as an ingredient for chefs and foodservice as well as turned into value-add products starting with a line of gyoza, which is also currently available in foodservice.

KARANA’s offering is unique because its ground jackfruit meat is both delicious and good to grow, adding more diversity to our agriculture systems and diets and helping shift plant-based meat away from industrial monoculture crops like wheat and soy. KARANA is differentiated in the following ways:

  • Extremely versatile base ingredient for a variety of culinary and product formats
  • KARANA jackfruit meat soaks up sauces & flavors in limitless forms & culinary applications and experiences
  • KARANA’s proprietary technology enhances the naturally meat like texture of Jackfruit
  • No compromise for taste & nourishment
  • Unbelievably meaty
  • Soy and gluten free
  • Minimally processed using the entire young jackfruit, a good source of fiber, protein, Non-GMO
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Regeneratively-Farmed
  • Increases biodiversity, good for intercropping
  • Upcycles a wasted and under-utilized resource
  • Farmer-friendly increases income, supports local communities
  • Good for soil health

Dan Riegler, co-founder and CEO of KARANA sees jackfruit as a climate resilient crop that can help drive a new generation of plant based meat products: “As the world faces increasing challenges around food security due to climate change, war and geopolitical conflict, and supply chain issues, crops like jackfruit provide an opportunity to scale regenerative based farming systems, which are more equitable for small farmers, replenish soil health, and deliver more nutrition to consumers. Jackfruit also has a natural fibrous structure and neutral taste profile in its unripe form, which allows for lots of texture and flavor optimization with minimal processing. KARANA’s technology platform allows us to build products that deliver on taste, nutrition, and sustainability while building a new supply chain that drives the kind of urgent and holistic transformation that is needed in our food system today.”

KARANA launched products in Singapore and Hong Kong in early 2021 and in California in April 2022, partnering with Michelin star chefs in each market including:

  • Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut in Singapore
  • Chef Manav Tuli of Chaat in Hong Kong
  • Chef Ho Chee Boon of Empress by Boon in San Francisco

KARANA is now in over 70 locations across all three markets and actively expanding in both restaurants and institutional catering, including university and corporate campuses.

Blair Crichton, KARANA co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer notes: “KARANA is really a versatile product that’s been designed by chefs for chefs, it gives a huge amount of creativity to the chef in how they season, texture, and present the dish, it can perform just like meat and fool carnivores or it can be presented as jackfruit and celebrated for its ingredient profile. We are always amazed at what our chef partners can do with the product and how many traditional and new menu items are possible.”

Existing leading food tech investors, Big Idea Ventures (BIV) and Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto, have participated in the seed extension alongside new investors including Rumah Group.

Proceeds of the seed extension are going to support growth in the company’s core markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States (currently in distribution in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas), expanding R&D and product development, and growing the team. Having Real Tech as a new supporter, the team will also seek opportunities to enter into the Japanese market where plant-based meat is still considered an emerging concept in its food culture.

Interested chefs, restaurants and catering institutions should request samples at or order from Greenleaf in the San Francisco Bay Area and Classic Fine Foods in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Real Tech Holdings has invested in KARANA through its Global Fund, whose principal goal is to build an ecosystem to support deep tech startups in South East Asia. This fund’s Limited Partners include Ebara, East Japan Railways, Honda, Marui Group, Maruha Nichiro Corporation. The fund is co-investing with major Singapore and Malaysian government investment vehicles and recently established a Singapore office as well. Apart from capital, Real Tech provides non-financial support required for growth and Japan market entry via its over 50 limited partners which include many large Japanese companies and banks.

Editor’s notes:

For more information on Karana please visit:

IG: @eatkarana

High-res images of Karana can be downloaded here.

Founder and key team biographies can be found here.

For further information, including interview requests, please contact:

Sue Hearn