MicroHarvest raises €8.5 million Series A for the 'world’s fastest' protein production system
Biotech start-up, MicroHarvest, has closed an €8.5 million Series A round to bring its single-cell protein production process to commercialization. The round was led by Astanor Ventures and Happiness Capital. Other investors in the round include Faber and existing investor FoodLabs.
MicroHarvest is a biotech company on a mission to provide better, healthier and tastier protein, produced sustainably using the power of microorganisms. With its novel production system for single cell protein, they address the pressing need for sustainable alternatives to meet the growing global protein demand. The company, among others, directly tackles the growing demand for alternative protein ingredients for human food, a US$14 billion market.
MicroHarvest’s proprietary technology enables the production of protein using bacteria at a speed and efficiency that greatly exceeds existing approaches. Being able to ramp-up production quickly is key to becoming a relevant player in the B2B ingredients market. It enables decentralized production of sustainable, nutritious, high-quality and safe protein.
Possible applications along the whole protein value chain are numerous – ranging from animal feed to direct application in human food and pet food.
“At MicroHarvest we’re committed to creating a world where everyone has access to nutritious food through a fair and resilient system,” commented Katelijne Bekers, Co-Founder & CEO of MicroHarvest. “We are thrilled to partner with these eminent funds. We have a strong shared vision for creating impact to our food systems, using the power of nature. Together we can deliver impact at scale, bringing the faster protein production system to commercialization."
The Hamburg-based start-up will use the fresh funding to grow its R&D team, construct a pilot plant in Lisbon and accelerate towards commercial-scale production. After a successful acceptance trial this year, an at-scale production trial will yield product to perform further application trials with the aim to enter the market in 2023.
“MicroHarvest’s solution is deeply aligned with Astanor’s mission to catalyze a sustainable transition of the global food system," added Arnout Dijkhuizen, Investment Principal at Astanor Ventures. "Their innovative approach to protein production can significantly contribute to meeting protein demand in the (near) future with sustainable and nutritious products. The technology enables highly localized protein production, a key element to achieving food independence as agri-food supply chains are facing increasing stress on a global scale.”
“There are only very few start-ups solving the problem of sustainable protein production on a large scale," suggested Christian Guba, investor at FoodLabs. "MicroHarvest’s approach is by far the easiest and most scalable way to produce sustainable protein that we have come across, with applications along the whole protein value chain. We’re impressed with what the MicroHarvest team has achieved in such a short time. As very early backers of the company we strongly believe they can build a global champion.“
“We’re excited to support the experienced, highly committed, and purpose-driven MicroHarvest team," concluded Eric Ng, CEO of Happiness Capital. “As various aspects of our food supply face many challenges today, we see a critical need for new ways to produce nutritious protein in a sustainable way. We’re convinced that MicroHarvest will lead the way. Right from the start, we have been deeply impressed by MicroHarvest’s technology and their streamlined path to production."
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