Israeli foodtech company InnovoPro raised another $3 million for its Series B funding round with Dutch multinational Rabobank, bringing the total capital raised to $18 million. The Series B round was first announced in April and was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). Additional investors included Custos Privatstiftung, Wolfgang Leitner, CEO of Andritz AG a leading engineering solution company, and CPT Capital, one of the premier global food tech investors.
The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabobank’s investment arm Rabo Corporate Investments, led the second part of the funding announced this month. Rabobank specializes in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking.
Founded in 2015, InnovoPro develops food products based on chickpea protein in various categories such as dairy alternatives, meat alternatives, sports nutrition, bakery, snacks, spreads, and ice cream. Various products based on InnovoPro’s chickpea protein have already been launched in the US, Europe, and Israel.
The protein, according to InnovoPro, is “free from all,” – phytoestrogens, allergens, and is not genetically modified (non-GMO), rendering it suitable for developing a broad range of food products that meet demands set by diverse audiences worldwide.
The fresh funding follows an agreement in July with Swiss retailer Migros for a line of dairy-free yogurts in European countries this year.
InnovoPro is targeting an over $40 billion market of protein ingredients and is aiming to expand and identify partners to launch the next generation factory for chickpea protein production.
The company is expected to use the new capital to increase production capacity, and take on business development and joint strategic ventures.
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InnovoPro CEO Taly Nechushtan welcomed Rabobank as an investor and said that as part of the company’s sustainable growth strategy, it will use the added funding “to explore production collaboration options for our protein and future products in the EU, to expand our EU supply chain capabilities.”
Richard O’Gorman, managing director of Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund said the organization had been following InnovoPro’s progress for some time.
“In line with the more informed and sophisticated consumer, novel plant-based protein solutions are coming under greater scrutiny in the context of their nutrition and sustainability footprint. Chickpea with its high protein, fiber, iron, and other characteristics leads to a more nutritious alternative and allows for cleaner labeling with no need for the emulsifiers, enhancers or masking agents necessary with competing analogues. Chickpea is a sustainable source, driven by crop characteristics such as comparatively lower water usage and carbon footprint with rotational qualities.
“For these reasons we believe chickpea will be a leader in the next wave of non-animal protein sources. We are therefore very proud to back InnovoPro, the strong market leader in the space, and look forward to scaling the company with an expert management team and strong group of investors,” he added.
JVP Founder and Chairman Dr. Erel Margalit said the COVID-19 pandemic has positioned “food security as an essential need” and raised awareness of the need for healthier foods and better food processing standards
“This has increased the need for creative sustainable solutions and innovation in the changing world of what we eat. InnovoPro has become a leader in the Israeli food tech industry and is on the path to becoming a world food tech leader,” he said.