Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Brevel completes $18.5m seed funding round for sustainable alternative protein

Brevel, the microalgae-based alternative protein company, has completed a seed funding round of $18.5m. The funds raised will be used to provide an alternative protein that is neutral-tasting, functional, highly sustainable and affordable to the mainstream food industry.

The round was led by NevaTeam Partners and supported by the European Union’s EIC Fund, as well as other leading food and climate funds and strategic partners from within the food industry.

Brevel’s technology is said to be the first in the world to combine sugar-based fermentation of microalgae with high light concentrations at industrial scales to produce a protein that will be incorporated by food manufacturers into plant-based products.

This technological breakthrough tackles the primary barriers to market penetration for new protein sources: taste, functionality, and cost, creating the most suitable protein for the plant-based industry. As a result, Brevel’s proteins are increasingly in demand by food manufacturers for a wide variety of applications, and will enable the development of healthier, tastier and environmentally friendly non-animal food products.

The company is primarily targeting the dairy alternative sector, which faces a significant challenge in protein content. Other plant-based protein sources such as soy are allergenic and often have overpowering flavors, making them less efficient for use in plant-based milk and cheese products. In contrast, Brevel’s protein can be seamlessly incorporated, significantly boosting nutritional value and enhancing texture without compromising on taste, color, or cost.

Brevel is achieving cost parity with traditional plant-based protein sources such as pea and soy by utilizing its unique technology to generate valuable co-products alongside the high concentration of functional protein from microalgae such as functional lipids, pigments and more. This approach enables Brevel to attain almost triple the profitability from the same microalgae, making it feasible to price the protein competitively in the market.

Brevel’s process is said to cause the smallest environmental footprint possible and is unaffected by weather conditions, climate change and seasonal variations. It does not require arable land, can recycle 100% of the water, use on-site clean energy and feed the world with a fraction of the land used today for traditional agriculture.

Brevel has been operating their large-scale 500 liter pilot in Israel and will very soon move into their first of commercial-scale factory with the first-of-its-kind 5000 liter fermentation and light system. All of Brevel’s manufacturing systems have been designed and built by Brevel, as well as the development of all the biological processes.

“This substantial funding round will fuel Brevel’s journey forward and pave the way for our vision of sustainable nutrition for the future of our planet to materialize,” says Yonatan Golan, CEO and co-founder of Brevel. “We are primed and ready for our next major leap – the global scale production of Brevel’s protein that will be integrated into healthier, tastier and environmentally-friendly food products in every household.”

“Having followed Brevel’s impressive developments and achievements in recent years, we believe that Brevel will be one of the leading companies in the global alternative protein industry and we are excited to join their journey towards that goal,” said Shai Levy, managing partner at NevaTeam Partners, who will also be joining Brevel’s board. “We believe that Brevel’s innovative technology enables the cost-efficient production of high-quality protein extracted from microalgae, which is crucial for the future of sustainable food production.”

“We identified Brevel as an ambitious company with breakthrough technology which can provide significant impact. After the Horizon 2020 non-dilutive grant, the EIC Fund made the decision to further support and join Brevel with an equity investment in their journey towards a sustainable future,” says Svetoslava Georgieva, chair of the EIC Fund Board.

Brevel’s seed funding totals $18.5m, including $8.4m converted from grants and convertible loans into shares.

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