NovoNutrients raises $4.7 million to scale up
Monday, August 2, 2021
Alternative protein company NovoNutrients raised $4.7 million led by Hong Kong-based global venture firm, Happiness Capital. The company previously raised $4.3 million in venture backing, as well as a multiple of that in non-dilutive, corporate project funding commitments. NovoNutrients will use the project funding to complete its industrial pilot program, which captures CO2 emissions, at an oil and gas and/or cement-related plant. Those projects position NovoNutrients to start raising a series A financing later this year.
“NovoNutrients has taken major steps towards becoming one of the world's biggest suppliers of innovative protein ingredients by 2030,” said Eric Ng, CEO of Happiness Capital. “The executive team has achieved tremendous support, not only from us but also from prior visionary investors, as well as project funding from powerful corporate partners.” Happiness Capital also invested in Beyond Meat, Redefine Meat and Ynsect.
“NovoNutrients' uniqueness is the combination of its current focus on alternative protein, its use of carbon capture and inexpensive hydrogen, and its creation of a robust platform for making both natural and synthetic biology products. Beyond nutrition, we expect its platform to make other biobased chemicals and materials. Its tech is exceedingly cost effective and promising for addressing increasing global demand and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Eric Ng.
E2JDJ and Marinya Capital also joined the round, which included re-ups from SOSV's IndieBio and the Grantham Environmental Trust. Other earlier investors include Stanford Graduate School of Business Impact Fund, Purple Orange Ventures, and Joyance Partners.
NovoNutrients plans to co-locate its bioreactors and systems at industrial sites that produce high-levels of CO2. At global scale, NovoNutrients plants have the potential to reduce those industrial CO2 emissions by gigatons.
NovoNutrients' current aim is to demonstrate its proprietary fermentation producing high-value proteins as that production scales to industrial levels. Kumiko Yoshinari, NovoNutrients' VP of Strategic Partnerships, said that “non-dilutive project funding from corporate partners, including a Catalyst Grant from Chevron Technology Ventures, is a critical accelerator. By building NovoNutrients facilities at a commercial scale on the industrial sites where CO2 and hydrogen are generated, we will be able to trial the technology with new partners. We could enter joint ventures or license the technology, which we've already done. That allows us to scale without making heavy capital investments.”
“In the three years since our November 2018 Indiebio demo day, we've prototyped protein-based products that have a market value ten times our original one, which was targeted at replacing ingredients made from wild-caught fish. We have been able to do that without increasing our cost of fermentation. We are rapidly accelerating to an industrial scale. Our current pilot project is centered on a 1,000-liter bioreactor. Shortly thereafter, we will stand up a 20,000-liter industrial demo,” said NovoNutrients' CEO, David Tze.
Photo caption: Rendering of a NovoNutrients pilot system.
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