The corporate venture capital arm of beer brewer giant AB InBev has joined forces with the foodtech company in an R&D partnership
Clara Foods CEO at Royal Institution of Great Britain
Arturo Elizondo, co-founder and chief executive of Clara Foods

ZX Ventures, the global investment and innovation group of AB InBev, has agreed to a R&D partnership with foodtech company Clara Foods to unlock the possibilities of precision fermentation at large scale. The partnership draws on AB InBev’s centuries of expertise in scaling, food-grade fermentation and downstream processing gained from large-scale brewing processes, and Clara’s technology leadership in animal-free, performance proteins.

Arturo Elizondo and David Anchel founded Clara Foods in 2015 to produce real animal protein without the use of a single animal.

The start-up was first supported by SOSV’s IndieBio accelerator, and it has since raised $56.8 million in funding over four disclosed rounds.

Clara Foods uses precision fermentation and its first product was the world’s first chickenless egg white for bakery applications and it’s now also working on an animal-free protein with application in beverages.

Through this partnership, ZX Ventures and Clara Foods intend to explore the development of sustainable, animal-free egg protein ‘brewed’ at large scale.

Patrick O’Riordan, founder and chief executive of BioBrew, a technology platform venture in ZX Ventures, explained: “Meeting the increased demand for food requires breakthrough solutions built on collaboration and innovation that spans several industry domains – both old and new. The ancient and natural process of fermentation can be further harnessed to help meet future demands in our global food system.”

BioBrew is a technology platform venture in ZX Ventures that is exploring opportunities to apply large-scale fermentation and downstream processing expertise beyond beer.

Elizondo said: “Clara has been on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to animal-free protein, starting with the egg. More than one trillion eggs are consumed globally every year and corporate commitments for cage-free aren’t enough. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the world’s largest fermentation company to work together to enable a kinder, greener, and more delicious future. This partnership is a major step towards realizing our vision.”

Date published: 23 April 2021

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