Protein innovator MicroHarvest raises €1.5m from Simon Capital, accelerates path to commercialization
This latest investment brings the total funding into the Hamburg-and-Lisbon-based start-up to over €10m.
Founded in 2021, MicroHarvest makes an alternative protein by fermenting bacteria using feedstock derived from agricultural byproducts and drying it into a powder that can then be mixed with other ingredients. It claims its process can be completed in a matter of hours and that its product reduces land use by 99% and CO2 emissions by more than 70% relative to beef production.
In April this year, it was selected as a winner in the 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards, which recognize early-stage companies working to introduce technologies and products that can push the world to a net-zero global economy.
The developer recently conducted tests on shrimp feed, which it said yielded encouraging results.
Katelijne Bekers, co-founder and CEO of the startup, told FeedNavigator last month that the startup has also seen strong interest from pet food manufacturers in its microbial protein. “The pet food industry is one that we strongly believe in and where we think MicroHarvest can truly drive impact.”
In terms of next steps, she outlined how the firm is working towards commercialization milestones, continuing to probe the scalability of its processes while moving forwards on the regulatory aspects with a view to bringing its product to market as soon as possible.
As part of its efforts to enter the market by the end of 2023, it is building a pilot plant at its new location in Lisbon to produce prototypes and accelerate research, as production is being ramped up together with a contract manufacturing partner.