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The Startup Making Protein From Thin Air

November 19, 2023
x min read

A Finnish food technology company has a bold idea for the future: protein made from thin air.

What’s happening:

  • Finland based food technology company Solar Foods has raised €8M in a crowd funding round
  • The round also saw participation from some of Solar Food’s early investors including Happiness Capital, Lifeline Ventures, VTT Ventures and Fazer

The big idea:

  • Solar Foods is aiming to combine clean tech and food tech to change the way protein is produced by leveraging renewable energy and bioprocess engineering
  • Their first technical breakthrough came from finding a way to turn emission free electricity and captured carbon dioxide into nutrient dense calories, essentially turning air into protein
  • Solar’s Foods flagship proprietary ingredient is known as Solein, which is a cellular agriculture derived protein that can be produced anywhere and is not derived from a plant or an animal but rather from a natural single cell organism

Why it matters:

  • Finding ways to produce protein sources that don’t rely on traditional farming and agriculture is one of the most important problems to solve for lowering carbon emissions globally

Going deeper:

  • One of the largest backers of Solar Foods is publicly listed Agronomics (LSE: ANIC) which was founded by billionaire Jim Mellon
  • Agronomics has put in €6M in venture capital into Solar Foods since inceptions

The intrigue:

  • Solar Food’s believes that their breakthrough science could unlock the capability to produce protein in space and on planets other than Earth

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