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Biotech startup Protera has raised US$10 million in its Series A round. The company uses artificial intelligence to create proteins that are clean and extend the shelf life of foods. The capital will help the startup advance its protein platform as it looks to commercialize its product portfolio.
AI for sustainability
With headquarters in Paris, France, and Santiago, Chile, the AI-powered startup plans and manufactures novel animal-free proteins that are natural and sustainable at a high speed and accuracy.
Founded in 2015 in Chile by Leonardo Álvarez and Francia Navarrete, the company works through a proprietary deep learning algorithm called ‘madi’. The company’s tech inspects billions of amino acid combinations and the potential properties. In 2016, Protera was a part of Silicon Valley-based IndieBio, a biology-focused accelerator.
Now, the company is able to produce clean-label texturising and food-preserving proteins like shelf-stable and anti-fungal elements and high-melting-point plant-based oils.
In a statement, chief executive officer of Protera, Leonardo Álvarez said: “We are excited to continue our strong partnership with Sofinnova Partners, which is known for being a company builder in industrial biotechnology, with a strong focus on entrepreneurs and science. We feel fortunate to add two industrial partners, Bimbo Group, the world’s largest baked-goods producer, and ICL Group, experts in ingredient manufacturing and distribution, as we position ourselves to go fully downstream and deploy products on the market.”
We are excited to continue our strong partnership with Sofinnova Partners, which is known for being a company builder in industrial biotechnology, with a strong focus on entrepreneurs and scienceLeonardo Álvarez, chief executive officer of Protera
The company successfully closed its Series A round led by Sofinnova Partners. This Europe-based life sciences venture capital firm supports solutions in healthcare and sustainability. Also joining the funding round is one of the world’s largest baked goods producers, Mexico-based Bimbo Group, as well as agtech startup accelerator, ICL Planet.
Partner at Sofinnova Partners and a member of Protera’s board of directors, Joško Bobanović said: “Having led the financing a year ago, we have been impressed by the team’s ability to deliver food ingredients that are innovative, sustainable and highly sought by the markets.”
We feel fortunate to add two industrial partners, Bimbo Group, the world’s largest baked-goods producer, and ICL Group, experts in ingredient manufacturing and distribution, as we position ourselves to go fully downstream and deploy products on the marketLeonardo Álvarez, chief executive officer of Protera
Protein to tackle food waste
“Protera’s technology aims to solve real challenges in the food sector, such as increasing the shelf life of bread, to diminish food waste and increase food security. We wish to support the company, by testing and validating its technology,” said Jose Manuel Ramirez, director of Bimbo Ventures.
Protera is expanding its manufacturing process and is in talks with several MNCs to validate its ingredients. The financing will help expedite this process of Protera Guard. This particular protein prolongs the shelf-life of foods, acting as a natural replacement for chemical-based ones.
“Protera’s unique platform – especially its focus on building a portfolio of clean-label food Ingredients – has the potential to help ICL differentiate its future product offerings, as we focus on our long-term strategy dedicated to alternative proteins,” said Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of External Innovation at ICL and general manager of ICL Planet.
Lead image – Leonardo Álvarez and Francia Navarrete, of Protera.