MycoTechnology nets $85m Series E from sovereign fund, ag & food giants

MycoTechnology, an Aurora, Colorado-dependent startup working with fermentation know-how and mushroom mycelia to develop novel meals solutions, has shut an $85 million spherical of funding.

In a statement, the startup explained it will use the funding to “further capitalize” on its fermentation technological innovation platform and develop its geographical footprint, launching its merchandise in Europe, Asia, and the Center East as priorities.

How it works:

Founded in 2013, MycoTechnology says it harnesses “the metabolic motor of mushrooms, regarded as mycelium, utilizing all-natural fermentation to produce novel components.”

These ingredients provide solutions to issues such as “sugar reduction, food stuff insecurity, sustainable protein, [and] organic immune guidance.”

Mycelium are thread-like structures, resembling plant roots, that enable fungi to take in vitamins by secreting enzymes into their surrounding environment.

Amid the items MycoTechnology has released so considerably is ClearIQ, a “kosher and halal […] all-normal, GMO-free, organic bitter blocker” that can be extra to foodstuff and beverage solutions to lessen any bitter, astringent, metallic, and bitter off-notes in their flavor.

FermentIQ is its plant-centered meat analog ingredient, manufactured by fermenting pea and rice protein with shiitake mycelium. The startup promises that FermentIQ can greatly enhance the style, features, and nutritiousness of plant-based mostly protein merchandise.

Why it issues:

When plant-dependent meat replacements keep on to develop into more and much more commonplace, for several consumers they however slide at the rear of common, animal-derived meat when it will come to flavor.

A modern research by food consultancy Chew found that even a mid-vary, animal-derived beef burger was equipped to defeat nine of the US’s best-advertising plant-dependent analog patties on both of those flavor and nourishment (the only group exactly where the plant burgers received was sustainability.)

Finally, if plant-centered merchandise really do not match up to meat on taste, then individuals who aren’t motivated by specific dietary or ethical good reasons aren’t going to swap. And that usually means the continued, exponential progress of livestock farming in get to create traditional meat – some thing that results in well about a 3rd of whole world-wide greenhouse fuel emissions, by some estimates.

Notably, MycoTechnology trader Maple Leaf Foods unveiled its annual and quarterly benefits very last month. Talking on a meeting get in touch with at the time, president Curtis Frank stated: “All key brands and merchandise across the category are suffering from equivalent difficulties, which mainly appears to be driven by consumers’ expertise in phrases of style, price, diploma of processing and simplicity of preparation.”

Most likely this clarifies why so numerous ‘Big Ag’ corporates have backed MycoTechnology, past the reasonably apparent sustainability angle: with their prolonged-phrase involvement in livestock farming and the producing and processing of meat products and solutions, they are specially alert to the need to have for alt-protein products and solutions to style the identical — or much better — than their regular meat counterparts. They’ve understood that they have to have to commit in alt-protein to safe a share of the food items industry of the long run they’re also cognizant that individuals alt-protein products have to be as palatable to people as the meat they by now promote them.

What they say:

Alan Hahn, co-founder and CEO, MycoTechnology, mentioned in a statement:

“This fundraise is a validation of the opportunity of our breakthrough proposition and future-era substances. [It] will power the imagination of our extraordinary staff, driving our options to include far more new-to-the-earth substances from the fungal kingdom. We have big items coming!”

Aggressive landscape:

Other startups operating with mycelium, for food items or supplies reasons, incorporate:

  • Atlast (US) – myco-bacon and other total reduce meat analogs
  • Bolt Threads (US) – leather-based different
  • Meati (US) – extra total-minimize meat analogs
  • Mushlabs (Germany) – ‘circular’ liquid fermentation of protein
  • Mycorena (Sweden) – fermented substances for alt-protein manufacturing
  • Mycotech Lab (Indonesia) – mycelium-based mostly building products
  • MycoWorks (US) – customized-developed leather alternative [disclosure: AFN‘s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in MycoWorks.]
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