Colorado-based food tech MycoTechnology has just raised US$39 million in a Series D funding round, which it plans to use to enlarge its existing platform of functional plant-based ingredients. The investment round attracted big names including plant-based group Greenleaf Foods, Tyson Ventures and Kellogg-owned Eighteen94 Capital. MycoTechnology company specialises in food-processing solutions made using fungi organisms.
MycoTechnology, the food tech developing a functional ingredients platform using mycelia extracted from mushrooms, has just secured US$39 million in a Series D round led by Greenleaf Foods, which owns plant-based brands such as Lightlife and Field Roast, alongside food tech investor S2G Ventures and New York-based Evolution VC Partners.
Among the other participating investors were meat giant Tyson Foods’ investment arm Tyson Ventures and Kellogg’s Eighteen94 Capital. The latest financing round takes the 7-year-old company’s total funding up to US$120 million.
Speaking to FoodNavigator about the successful Series D despite the economic turbulence, CEO Alan Hahn said the company “didn’t take a valuation hit” because “we’re not just selling a product, we’re selling a platform.”
“We have a platform that can produce all kinds of better-for-you products and we’ve got over 60 different fungi organisms we can use.” The food tech plans to further expand its plant-based ingredient solution line with the latest injection of capital.
One of the innovations that MycoTechnology became known for is ClearTaste, a bitterness-blocking ingredient. The “bitter blocker” ClearTaste is derived from mushroom extract and can help improve the taste of sweeteners, plant proteins, coffee and chocolate.
MycoTechnology’s other star ingredient is a mycelium-fermented pea and rice plant-based protein PureTaste. It is a neutral-tasting complete protein created using pea and rice protein fermented using Shiitake mycelium, and is suitable for use as a protein crisp in energy bars, or as a texturised product for plant-based meat alternatives. It also boasts a high vitamin B12 content, making it particularly attractive for vegan eaters.
What makes PureTaste different to other plant protein ingredients on the market is the fermentation technology that tackles the off-tastes associated with pea protein, as well as improved solubility, textural qualities and better oil and water-holding abilities. These are key considerations for plant-based meat and dairy manufacturers, particularly those hoping to attract mainstream consumers.
Looking ahead, MycoTechnology’s CEO revealed to FoodNavigator that he plans to take the company public in the second half of 2022. “We’ll see how the environment is for IPOs as we get nearer there, but we’ve got some very exciting new products in our pipeline that I think will probably trigger the right opportunity to go public,” said Hahn.
Other plant-based ingredient companies are too experiencing greater investor interest as demand for the sector continues to grow. Algaia, a French biomarine ingredient company in seaweed natural extracts, recently completed a US$2.4 million investment round, which it says it will spend on developing a new range of seaweed-based solutions that can be used to create plant-based substitutes.
Lead image courtesy of Pixabay.