Equinom, a startup that breeds non-GMO plant-based proteins like pea and soy, has raised $35 million.
It uses advanced algorithms to identify the traits of different seed varieties, enabling the development of new ingredients with desirable traits for food production – like high protein, mild taste, and light color.
The minimally processed plant proteins enable food companies to develop products that meet the rising demand for tastier and more affordable sustainable alternatives to meat and dairy.
The company, based at the Givat Brenner kibbutz, central Israel, will use the new funding to commercialize its plant-based proteins, which will be sold to food companies through ingredient suppliers.
It will also develop seeds and grains of its ultra-high protein varieties of non-GMO soy and pea, and further its research and development of additional protein sources like chickpea, fava, mung bean, and cowpea.
The funding was raised by Synthesis Capital, a leading global food technology and alternative protein investor, with additional investment from Praesidium, Bunge Ventures, and others.
“I’m excited to work with Synthesis and our other investors who clearly see the food revolution taking place and the huge opportunity to develop better plant protein ingredients – optimized from the ground up for the relevant food and beverage applications,” said Gil Shalev, Equinom’s Co-founder and CEO.
“Our investors share the understanding that good food must start with good ingredients. With this additional investment, we will be able to deliver our message, and our next generation, non-GMO ingredients to food companies who are ready to unlock category growth by delivering tastier, healthier, sustainable and affordable food options to every plate in the world.”
Costa Yiannoulis, managing partner and Co-founder of Synthesis Capital, said: “Today’s food system requires significant transformation if we are to slow the effects of climate change and feed a growing population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050.
“We see alternative proteins as a critical solution and feel energized by Gil’s vision and commitment to address some of the greatest challenges facing the plant-based industry at their source, through innovating to revolutionize traditional inputs into the process. We clearly see the value Equinom ingredients can generate throughout the food supply chain – and within our portfolio.”