Solar Biotech, a company based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has raised US$2 million in seed funding for its scale up platform for fermentation players. The startup’s renewable energy powered flagship solution, BioNodes, helps clients reduce costs, scale sustainably and speed up time-to-market.
Solar Biotech has raised US$2 million in debt financing, reported North Carolina tech news publication WRAL TechWire on Friday (May 7). Founded by Alex Berlin in 2019, the firm, which also operates a base in Norton, Virginia, provides a 100% solar-powered platform and facility to help fermentation companies scale up their operations sustainably and at a fraction of the cost.
According to the report, founder and CEO Berlin says that the funds will fuel the company’s ongoing work of “scaling up our technology for clients”. Solar Biotech is aiming to double their current fundraise to US$4 million.
In a separate social media post from Solar Biotech, the firm said the seed funds will mean “more acceleration” for their clients’ fermentation products.
Solar Biotech’s proprietary technology uses SynBio Hyperintegration Algorithms (SHAs), which enables customised modular plant architectures called BioNodes for products. These BioNodes are run by renewable solar energy, recycled water and bio-captured carbon dioxide, and the company claims that their process will help “reduce by 10-fold SynBio products time-to-market, from years to months, for a fraction of current costs”.
“SynBio products produced at SolarBiotech BioNodes will be carbon-neutral and water-neutral,” explains Solar Biotech on its website.
In the SEC filing of the financing, the around US$150,000 of the proceeds from the seed funds will also go towards payments to Berlin, who “wears multiple hats” as the founder, CEO and CTO of the company.
With a background in industrial biotechnology since 1992, Berlin oversees R&D, finance and administration, business development and industrial plant operations of Solar Biotech.
Other team members include chief engineering officer Ron Morris and Vera Maximenko, the senior director of technology and a data scientist.
What Solar Biotech is aiming to do is to create a single place to help food techs and other companies who are developing fermentation solutions to rapidly commercialise their products. Providing their technology means that these companies won’t have to build their own facilities or production plants, minimising costs and accelerating scale up plans.
As the alternative protein landscape continues to mature, more startups are now leveraging fermentation technology to create novel products, and the sector is quickly shaping up to be a critical “third pillar” in the industry, standing alongside plant-based and cell-based technologies.
Startups in the fermentation space range from Meati Foods, who are using mycelium to make their whole-cut meat alternatives, to Perfect Day’s precision fermentation-based animal-free real dairy proteins.
Food innovators are even using the technology to create animal-free fats and oils, such as Nourish Ingredients, whose products will help improve the sensorial experience of alternative protein products, from meat to cheese.
Lead image courtesy of Getty Images / iStock.