The day when you can buy meat-like substances made from thin air came a significant step closer this week as Californian based Air Protein announced it has completed a $32 million Series A round of fundraising.
The company has attracted a stellar lineup of investors including ADM Ventures, Barclays, and GV (which was formerly known as Google Ventures). The company said that the funding would go to bringing in new recruits, building a new innovation R&D laboratory and accelerating product development and commercialisation of its proprietary technology.
“With this funding, we will be able to accelerate our work towards providing innovative, environmentally-friendly, highly nutritious alternatives that will play an important role in meeting the growing global demand for alternatives to animal protein,” said Dr. Lisa Dyson the company’s CEO and co-founder. “We are commercializing a novel technology platform that is capable of scaling to large-scale production to help feed the world’s 10 billion people by the year 2050, in the most sustainable approach available today.”
Andrew Challis, Co-Head of Principal Investments at Barclays, said: “Air Protein is a compelling solution to the growing challenges of sustainably feeding the world’s population while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss. This provides an exciting investment opportunity for us to help Air Protein advance its ambitious strategy.”
The company isn’t the only one exploring creating sustainable protein made from air. Finnish based Solar Foods boasts a pilot plant on the outskirts of Helsinki and has attracted 5.5m Euros of investment. Air Protein’s investment could lead o0t other rival firms also securing significant backing.
Air Protein creates the meat by adding elements found in air to genetically modified microbes in a fermentation tank. The microbes ingest the air elements and output a healthy protein that then gets texturised and turned into various alt meat products.
According to an interview with The Spoon the company is still some way of creating specific meat products, but are adamant that when they start production the alt meat will go straight to consumers. Lida Dyson also added that since air protein, the concept, requires very few resources (e.g., land, water) to produce, it can be produced virtually anywhere in the world.