Lisbon-based MicroHarvest, a biotech startup works with the mission to champion the protein ingredients of the future. The company has secured €1.5 million in funding and announced a new partnership with Simon Capital. The partnership will strengthen the teams’ operational know-how within the food and production space and bring in additional funds to fuel the company’s growth.
This investment follows the €8.5 million Series A funding it secured in 2022 led by Astanor Ventures (that backed Current Foods and Source.ag), FoodLabs, Happiness Capital, and Faber. With this, the total investment secured by MicroHarvest accounts for €10 million.
The company will use the funds towards key commercialisation milestones. As part of its efforts to enter the market by the end of 2023, the company is building a pilot plant at its new location in Lisbon. This plant will enable them to produce prototypes and accelerate research, as production is being ramped up together with a contract manufacturing partner.
Katelijne Bekers, MicroHarvest Co-Founder & CEO, commented on the announcement said: “Choosing the partnership with Simon Capital will bring a significant long-term edge to the growth of MicroHarvest. Simon Capital doesn’t just bring extra funding: through them, we gain access to an incredibly experienced team who understands the ins and outs of a manufacturing company in the food & beverage space.’’
Dr. Friedrich Droste, Managing Partner at Simon Capital, added: “We are excited to join the MicroHarvest team on their mission to combine best-in-class research know-how and operational expertise for reshaping the B2B protein ingredients industry, by unlocking the full potential of microorganisms. It is impressive to see what the team has built up in the last months on its path to improving the resilience of tomorrow’s food system and, in addition, driving impact for more sustainable consumption. Simon Capital is looking forward to working closely together with the team and a renowned set of investors.”
Sustainable proteins produced with less water, space
MicroHarvest was founded in 2021 by Katelijne Bekers, Luisa Cruz PhD, and Jonathan Roberz in Lisbon. The company’s proprietary technology, based on biomass fermentation, enables production at a speed and efficiency that far exceeds other existing approaches. The result is quality protein ingredients containing over 60% raw protein, which can be produced in 24 hours from input to output, requiring a fraction of the water and land needed for other commercially available alternatives.
Applications along the whole protein value chain of B2B ingredients are manifold, ranging from animal feed to direct application in food and pet food.