Belgium: Eclo raises €4.7m for organic mushroom substrate factory

Participants in the round included Noshaq, Investsud Bois, GoGreen Capital and private investors
Shiitake substrate ready for marketing

Eclo has raised €4.7 million from Noshaq, Investsud Bois, GoGreen Capital and private investors. Operational support on the funding was provided by business development and early funding accelerator Ubiz.

The funds will be used to install a 4,200 square metre factory in Villers-le-Bouillet in Liège province at the beginning of next year.

Founded in 2014 and formerly known as Le Champignon de Bruxelles (The Brussels Mushroom), Eclo is an urban farm producing exotic mushrooms, microgreens and aromatic baby herbs. it currently operates on 3,000 square metres of the Cureghem Cellars in Brussels city centre, making it the largest underground farm in Belgium.

Since 2016, Eclo has developed recipes to replace grains in exotic mushroom substrates, generally made from a wood base, grains, water and mycelium, with organic waste from breweries and industrial bakeries. Last year, facilities in Anderlecht enabled Eclo to produce 330 tons of substrate while recycling 23 tons of brewery and bread waste.

Eclo stated that its new factory will result in the annual production of 7,000 tons of mushroom substrate from recycled organic waste by 2026.

Hadrien Velge, founder and chief executive of Eclo, said: “In recent years, we have seen a strong growth in demand for gourmet mushrooms such as shiitake and eryngii. The market currently has a shortage of quality substrates, and that creates recurring supply problems for producers. With Eclo, we have been investing for several years in research to improve the yield of our substrates. As a result, we have now attracted significant interest from European producers.”