Kirin Health Innovation Fund made an investment July this year in Israeli start-up Meta Flow, that operates Lumen, a portable device to measure a user’s metabolic state through breathing.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, corporate venture capital manager from Kirin’s health science department Kohzoh Fukaya explained that it invested in Meta Flow because obesity is one of Kirin’s focuses, alongside being convinced of the scientific evidence backing its technology.
Details around the invested amount and Kirin’s involvement in Meta Flow are undisclosed at the moment.
However, Fukaya said that Kirin usually enters as a minority shareholder in these start-ups and explore how they can tap on Kirin’s assets for their expansion strategy, or add additional value with its own expertise.
Its assets span its fermentation and biomanufacturing technologies across nutraceuticals, food, and pharmaceuticals, as well as an existing customer base and marketing expertise across United States, Europe, and Asia.
Kirin sees high growth potential in the health sciences domain particularly, and is seeking innovative solutions in the specialised and preventative wellness space. These solutions span personalised products and services, functional foods and beverages, and supplements.
For products and services, it is keen on technology R&D that can change consumer behaviour, as well as health data platforms.
“As we’re a manufacturer, we’re always exploring what kind of consumers want our products. If we can reach that kind of health data, we can use them for product development.
“We also want to reach out to consumers who do not care about their health and expand consumer touch points for the business,” Fukaya explained.
Some other start-ups Kirin has invested in include human gut microbiome-based diagnostics targeted at chronic inflammatory diseases, Siolta Therapeutics, and a women’s self-care brand offering products and a menstrual cycle tracking service targeted at women’s hormonal balance, WRAY.
The fund, also known as the CVC fund, is set up by Kirin and venture capitalist Global Brain in March 2020 to invest in global start-ups with advanced health science technologies and business models.
While health sciences remain its core focus, it is hoping to bolster external capabilities in the food and beverages and pharmaceuticals domains as well.