The Californian biodesigned protein company gears up for launching a dietary supplement for food and drink applications in 2021
Geltor biodesigned protein display
Photo as seen on Geltor’s Instagram feed

Protein designer Geltor has closed a Series B funding round of $91.3 million and prepares global expansion of its ingredients-as-a-service platform. The California-based biotech start-up aims to meet accelerating demand from global consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands for sustainable, functional, and 100% animal-free ingredients.

Geltor’s product line is made of three ingredients, Elastapure, HumaColl21 and Collume, which are proprietary, animal-free biodesigned elastin and collagen, respectively. The company uses a fermented process with plant-based ingredients.

While current products in the market have been designed for topical formulations in the skincare space, Erin Kim, communications director at Geltor, told NutritionInvestor that a new ingredient is in development for food and drink applications.

In 2019, Geltor teamed up with Gelita, the German gelatine and collagen manufacturer, and embarked on a joint R&D venture that will see a new dietary supplement hit the market in 2021, and set to become the world’s first animal-free ingestible collagen protein.

As a dietary supplement, the new product is being designed for skin and nail health.

Geltor’s Series B investors

Geltor’s Series B round was led by future protein investor CPT Capital in the UK, with the participation of Taiwanese venture capital firm WTT Investment.

“We see huge market potential for Geltor’s protein platform across categories from cosmetics to food,” said Costa Yiannoulis, CPT Capital investment director and Geltor board director. “We are excited by the speed and skill with which they are building out their capabilities. We believe Geltor is laying the foundations for the sustainable, resilient, protein supply chain of the future.”

Existing investors Cultivian Sandbox, SOSV, and iSelect Fund, along with the investment arms of global ingredient companies Gelita and ADM, also participated in the round.

“We see huge market potential for Geltor’s protein platform across categories from cosmetics to food”

Costa Yiannoulis, CPT Capital investment director

Blue Horizon Ventures, RIT Capital Partners, Humboldt Fund, and Pegasus Tech Ventures joined the round as new investors.

The Series B brings the total funding raised for Geltor to $116.3 million to date.

Animal-free designer proteins

Geltor was founded in 2015 by Alexander Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov in California. Product development has led the start-up to become a true biotech company creating the world’s largest selection of designer proteins, which the company claims boast unprecedented biocompatibility, functionality and benefits for consumers.

The entire product line is 100% animal-free, sustainably cultivated, and clinically demonstrated for high performance.

“Businesses recognise the urgent need to transition to a sustainable protein supply chain”

Geltor founder, Alexander Lorestani

The company has seen an uptake of its designer proteins as CPG brands recognise consumers’ increasing preference for products made with animal-free ingredients.

Lorestani explained: “Our goal is to make it ridiculously easy for iconic brands to build sustainable products. This next stage of growth will allow Geltor to meet the moment our world is facing, as businesses recognise the urgent need to transition to a sustainable protein supply chain.”

Lorestani said the company is grateful to have investors who see Geltor as an indication of the shift to a system powered by fermentation and plant-based platforms like the technology Geltor has developed.

“As a scientist, I’m convinced that the highest-impact action I can take to support human and planetary health is making our Ingredients-as-a-Service platform better every single day,” he concluded.

Date published: 29 July 2020

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