US-based Prelude Ventures and the Aware Super Sentient WA Growth Fund managed by Australian-based Sentient Impact Group, contributed the equity funding.
Rumin8 is developing feed supplements, in liquid, solid or slow-release dose formats, aimed at reducing methane emissions from livestock, with it targeting both feedlot and pasture applications.
The company outlined how it looks to identify naturally occurring compounds that have anti-methanogenic properties and instead of harvesting and extracting them from plants, then goes about reproducing them in “a highly efficient, low cost, scalable, and high-quality process” to feed to livestock in order to reduce their emissions.
The developer reported that in vitro trials of its first product at the University of Western Australia reduced methane production in sheep by more than 90% by day three, with almost total elimination by day five. The trials were also used to identify optimal dosing rates to achieve the required reductions in methane emissions.
Rumin8 is now partnering with the University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to assess the repeatability of the laboratory trials in animal trials in 2022.
Scalability at global herd level
This is Prelude Ventures’ first investment in an Australian company. MD of that impact investor, Mark Cupta, said Prelude was attracted to Rumin8’s scalability.
“The global beef industry is huge, and so is its environmental impact. Rumin8 possesses a technology that can move the dial in terms of efficacy at an individual animal level and scalability at a global herd level, generating impactful benefits for the environment and a return on investments for shareholders.”
Also commenting on the investment, Aware Super CEO, Deanne Stewart, said: “We manage around $5bn in retirement savings on behalf of our West Australian members, and investing in an exciting, innovative business like Rumin8 is not just great for the strong, long-term returns it can deliver for our members – it’s also directly tackling the biggest global issue of our time.”
In June Rumin8 also secured a $650,000 grant from AusIndustry’s Entrepreneur’s Program to progress its animal trials. That program provides small and medium businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and researchers with access to expert advice and funding to help novel products, processes or services make it to market.