Plant-based foods additive maker Paleo (not to be confused with the dietary method of avoiding whole and unprocessed foods) has raised €12 million in a Series A funding round. The new capital will be used to help the company scale up its production of key ingredients for meat and fish alternatives through precision fermentation technology and move into a commercial production phase. Since early December 2021, Paleo has raised €14 million.
The €12 million Series A round was led by DSM Venturing and Planet A Ventures, with Gimv, SFPIM Relaunch, Beyond Impact, and Siddhi Capital participating.
While the meat alternative industry has seen its ups and downs over the past few years, based on the number of startups active in the field, and more specifically the ones working on making non-meat meat taste more like meat, the benefits of the product are not only clear but so is the demand.
As a very quick reminder: traditional meat production bad: Greenhouse gases, energy, land use, heavy reliance on antibiotics, hormones, water, etc. We all know the drill by now.
Plant-based meat production: not as bad. But it also never tasted quite ‘right’.
"The market for plant-based meat and fish is ready to grow further, provided that consumers find the taste convincing. There's only so much you can do with artificial coloring and additives,” says Paleo co-founder and CEO Hermes Sanctorum. “Adding our ingredients to plant-based meat alternatives is a game changer that brings the experience of ‘real’ meat. You can smell it, you can taste it, and you can see it because our ingredients provide that vibrant red color that transforms into caramelised brown when you grill it.”
Using myoglobin, an iron and oxygen-binding protein found in the cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals, Paleo is able to introduce an additive that makes plant-based foods look and taste like their non-plant-based origins.
According to the company, their proteins are 100% identical to animal proteins and 100% GMO-free. While a number of competitors are producing meat proteins through precision fermentation, according to Paleo their final product is the only one that is considered GMO-free.
At present, Paleo offers beef, chicken, pork, lamb, tuna, and mammoth (yes, mammoth for those pure Paleoists out there) additives.
On the investment, Planet A Ventures Jan Christoph Gras commented, “Transitioning to a plant-based diet is crucial for accomplishing our net-zero objectives. Animal agriculture accounts for nearly 15% of total global emissions, while also driving biodiversity loss, water consumption, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. With its innovative precision fermentation technology, Paleo has broken down barriers to the widespread adoption of plant-based meat alternatives. Its realistic taste and highly functional protein make it an attractive option for even the most skeptical consumers of meat and fish substitutes.”