The Dutch start-up is developing alternative protein through microbial fermentation
R&D lab at The Protein Brewery
Photo as seen on the website of The Protein Brewery

Novo Growth, the growth equity arm of Novo Holdings, has led a €22 million Series A investment in The Protein Brewery, an innovative developer of protein-rich, animal-free food ingredients. The Series A funding will enable The Protein Brewery to continue its R&D activities, cover operational costs, as well as scaling up production of its flagship product Fermotein.

Thomas Grotkjær, principal at Novo Holdings, said: “The Protein Brewery meets the criteria investors seek in this space – the state-of-the-art quality, which is superior to all current options in the marketplace. Fermotein has a strong nutrition and sustainability profile and can be applicable to a wide range of high-demand products.”

Based in the Netherlands, The Protein Brewery was founded in January, resulting from a demerger of BioscienZ, an industrial biotech company developing new technologies based on microbial fermentation as a core competence.

BioscienZ was founded in 2010 by Wim de Laat, a molecular scientist with over 30 years’ experience in industrial fermentation. He continues heading up The Protein Brewery.

De Laat said: “The financial support and domain expertise of our investors will help us take the next important step and move towards the realisation of a pilot plant, demonstrating the process, the properties and benefits of our innovative and nutritious food ingredient.”

The Protein Brewery: Next steps

The Protein Brewery will have to go through the regulatory approvals for its Fermotein as a novel ingredient. The company is already in the application process for the US and European markets, with regulatory approval anticipated for next year in the US and 2022 in Europe.

Grotkjær continued: “This investment underscores Novo Holdings’ commitment to supporting companies that translate biotechnological research and innovation into commercial solutions. We look forward to contributing to the growing commercial success of the company with Wim, his team and our fellow investors.”

As part of the deal, Grotkjær will join the Supervisory Board alongside the other Series A investors Edouard Nuttin of Roquette Ventures and Kim Odhner of Unovis Asset Management, joining Wim de Laat and existing investors.

“It is paramount in the development of our company to continue the journey with committed shareholders who share the know-how, drive and enthusiasm for producing natural based food,” said de Laat. “We are delighted that Novo Holdings, one of the world’s preeminent investors in biotechnology, recognises the potential of our technology to transform the food industry.”

Date published: 3 November 2020

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