Finnish protein maker Solar Foods has closed an oversubscribed €8M Series B financing and will expand Solein protein production and support the construction of a commercial production plant.
Solar Foods Oy has raised €8m (US$8.8m) from retail investors in Finland. The Series B round was led by Finland’s Springvest Oy, existing investors such as Happiness Capital, Lifeline Ventures, VTT Ventures and Fazer also participated be means of a private placement.
The capital raised will be allocated towards ramping up production at the Solar Foods´ inaugural commercial-scale production facility, Factory 01, as well as utilising new production organisms and commercialising Solein® – a dried tasteless protein powder made from Xanthobacter sp SoF1 single cells – in food products. Operations are expected to begin in the first half of 2024, marking a significant milestone for the company.
The company, that produces protein by precision fermentation of carbon dioxide and electrolysed water has raised over €43m by venture capitalist plus €30m in debt financing. In October 2022, Solein was approved as a novel food in Singapore. In November 2021, Solar Foods announced it had submitted a dossier for EU market authorisation to the European Safety Autority, which confirmed to provide a scientic opinion in April 2024. The company, spun-out in 2017 from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT is not alone in the race to develop industrial-scale bioprocesses to cultivate hydrogen-oxidising Knallgas bacteria for a high protein content biomass for feed and food purposes. Air Protein (US), Deep Branch Technology (UK) and NovoNutrients (US) also do.
Other companies use heterotrophic, aerobic microorganisms to make single cell protein from waste side streams.