Solar Foods closes Series A financing for its first commercial factory
Solar Foods, producing a unique single-cell protein out of thin air, has closed its series A financing round with €15M new financing. Today’s announced investment extends the Series A financing round to total €18.5M, including the €3.5M convertibles raised in late 2019.
The largest food-tech financing round in Finland to date was led by Fazer Group with Bridford Investments Limited, Agronomics Limited, Lifeline Ventures and CPT Capital.
“We are thrilled of our new partners and their vast experience now at Solar Foods’ disposal. This development now enables us to successfully proceed with our planned production facility,” says Dr. Pasi Vainikka, CEO and co-founder of Solar Foods.
“We have been with Solar Foods from the very beginning and have been extremely impressed with how their team has consistently delivered on all expectations. I am also very happy that this financing round has brought together an excellent group of highly experienced investors who understand the industry thoroughly,” says Juha Lindfors, partner at Lifeline Ventures and chairman of Solar Foods.
New funding enables progress with the commercialisation of Solein®
Solar Foods is the first company capable of producing food by using air-captured CO2 in a complete and continuous mode, including the preparation of the actual final food products. Solar Foods produces an entirely new kind of nutrient-rich protein, Solein®, by using air and electricity as its primary raw materials. This process revolutionises food production, as the production of Solein is non-dependent on agriculture, climate, or the weather.
A new production plant, enabled by the new funds raised, will be a key milestone in Solar Foods’ path in reaching its vision of changing the way food is produced. The new facility is planned to be operational in late 2022 and will enable the commercialisation of new food products based on the novel platform ingredient. Thus far, Solar Foods has already developed 20 different kinds of food products that utilise Solein.
“We are extremely delighted to be able to go forward toward commercialisation of Solein® protein and bringing it on consumer plates. Our first factory will be located in Finland and is aimed to be the world’s first commercial factory producing food out of air-captured CO2. At the start-up phase, our production is estimated to be 5 million meals a year. We want to disconnect protein production from the ever-increasing use of environmental resources. Turning this possibility into a reality is an exciting prospect,” says Pasi Vainikka.
Powered by possibilism
Solar Foods has already carried out basic engineering for its production facility and is now entering the permitting process. The unit is planned to demonstrate the future of food production in an urban environment. It is designed to include the Solein Experience Hub and a future-food bar to provide citizens with an entirely new level of transparency in food production, which is why the production facility is also called the demonstrator.
“New technologies can open windows to the future. Through them, we can see possibilities that were an impossibility only a handful of years ago. It is not a case of opportunism, nor a question of optimism or pessimism. Producing Solein every day is already a tangible reality. At Solar Foods, we are possibilists who want to encourage and empower all people to be part of the solution: creating a better world through better food choices.
Our vision is to change the way food is produced, and the demonstrator’s product is aimed to be permitted as a global novel food. The world has hope. Food of the future is not a utopia – it is happening now,” Pasi Vainikka continues.
Natural protein of genuine sustainability
Solein® is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids that is light in both taste and appearance. It vanishes into daily meals, while simultaneously maintaining its rich nutritional value and offering a unified solution that caters to virtually every imaginable meal of today. This new, genuinely sustainable and natural protein also provides exciting opportunities for entirely new foods of tomorrow.
Producing Solein can take place in the toughest of environmental conditions, e.g. the desert, the Arctic, or possibly even in space. Because its production process does not involve irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers applied on open land or animals, Solein stands as the world’s most sustainable protein.
For more information:
Pasi Vainikka, D.Sc. (Tech.), CEO, Solar Foods Ltd., tel. +358 40 5825 987, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Solar Foods
Solar Foods produces protein using air and electricity. Solar Foods revolutionises food production with a method that is not dependent on agriculture, the weather, or the climate. The company was founded in Espoo, Finland, in 2017 by Dr Pasi Vainikka, Dr Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Sami Holmström, Jari Tuovinen, Professor Jero Ahola and Janne Mäkelä as a spinoff from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the LUT University. www.solarfoods.com
Agronomics is an AIM-listed investment company centered on the nascent fields of cellular agriculture, precision fermentation and synthetic biology. The Company invests in technologies that offer new ways of producing food and materials with a focus on products historically derived from animals. These technologies are driving a major disruption in agriculture, offering solutions to improve sustainability, as well as addressing human health, animal welfare and environmental damage. This disruption will decouple supply chains from the environment and animals, as well as being fundamental to feeding the world’s expanding population.
Bridford Investments Limited
Bridford Investments Limited is part of the Bridford Group, founded in 2018 by a group of investors that have worked together since 2007. The group has investments in sustainability; creative industries (music, photography and fashion); fintech and tech-enabled businesses; and fundamental technology. Its focus is on backing founder-led businesses with long-term growth potential, ideally those concerned with societal or environmental welfare.
CPT Capital is the venture arm of a leading private family office. As a long-standing dedicated investor in the alternative protein space, they partner with the best and the boldest companies driving the food and materials technology revolution. From plant-based protein to recombinant proteins to cell-based meat, CPT Capital backs the most promising solutions from seed all the way through to sale or IPO and longer term.
Fazer, The Food Experience Company, enables people to enjoy the best moments of their day. In 1891, the young Karl Fazer opened his first café with a mission to make food with a purpose – and a passion to create moments of joy for all the people around him. Shaping the next tastes, traditions and food experiences, Fazer is going Towards Perfect Days. Fazer wants people to experience the Northern Magic it creates and builds on its strong heritage, consumer first approach and innovations to create the sustainable food solutions of the future. The Group focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. In 2019, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.1 billion euros and almost 9,000 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.
Northern Magic. Made Real.
Lifeline Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm founded by serial entrepreneurs. Lifeline often starts working with founders before they have launched their first product. Companies we have invested in include Oura, Sulapac, Supercell and Wolt. Lifeline Ventures led the seed round of Solar Foods in 2018.