Air Protein Bags US$32M In Series A To Commercialise Its Climate-Friendly Meat

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Air Protein has secured US$32 million in its latest Series A funding round, which will go towards continued product development towards commercial launch. The Californian food tech is among the few startups pioneering sustainable protein made from thin air, which investors are keen to back as one of the most promising solutions to climate change and our broken food system.

Air Protein revealed on Thursday (January 7) the completion of its US$32 million Series A fundraising led by an impressive group of major investors, among them ADM Ventures, the investment arm of global ingredients giant ADM, British multinational bank Barclays and GV, the venture capital firm formerly known as Google Ventures under tech behemoth Alphabet. 

The San Francisco Bay Area-based startup says that the funding will go towards 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.

Dr. Lisa Dyson, Founder & CEO, Air Protein

Read: Is protein made from thin air the future of food?

Founded in 2019 by Dr. Lisa Dyson, Air Protein’s unique technology involving a probiotic process enables the production of nutrient-rich protein in sustainable vertical farms that can be constructed “virtually anywhere on the planet” – making it a highly transportable, scalable solution to meet the world’s growing demand for meat in a planet-friendly way. The startup is a subsidiary of Kiverdi, a research firm that uses NASA-inspired technology to transform carbon dioxide into raw materials. 

In addition to being far less carbon-intensive, Air Protein says its non-GMO protein flour, which contains all nine amino acids and is rich in B vitamins, requires 1.5 million times less land and reduces water usage by 15,000-fold compared to traditional beef protein

“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. Dyson. 

“We are commercialising 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.”

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.

Andrew Challis, Co-Head of Principal Investments, Barclays

As alternative proteins continue to ride on an all-time high with skyrocketing consumer demand and governments in search for solutions that would fend against crisis-driven supply shocks experienced in the wake of the pandemic, investment has been pouring into the sector. Having already seen unprecedented funding for food techs over the course of 2020, globally and across Asia-Pacific, it is likely that 2021 will present another record-breaking year. 

Commenting on their decision to back Air Protein, Barclays co-head of principal investments Andrew Challis 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.”

“We’re drawn to invest in the future of sustainable food, and Air Protein provides a unique protein source with proven yields and production efficiency,” added Andy Wheeler, general partner at GV. 

Other startups that are also creating protein from thin air have also been turning heads of late. Finnish food tech Solar Foods, for instance, has recently been granted €4.3 million (US$5.21 million) in financing from the government-backed innovation organisation Business Finland, which will go towards commercialising Solein, the company’s proprietary natural protein ingredient made using air-captured carbon dioxide in a continuous mode. 


Lead image courtesy of Air Protein.

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