Farmless Raises €1.2M In a Pre-Seed Raise to Cut Out the Protein ‘Middle Man’

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The Netherlands-based startup Farmless has successfully raised €1.2 million in a Pre-Seed funding round to advance its carbon-negative food ingredient production process.

Farmless’s new funding round was led by Revent, Nucleus Capital, and Possible Ventures with participation from HackCapital, Sustainable Food Ventures, VOYAGERS Climate-Tech Fund, TET Ventures, and angel investors from the Atomico Angel program, such as Jenny Saft, Ron Shigeta, Martin Weber, Rick Bernstein, Nadine Geiser, Joy Faucher, Michele Tarawneh, Alexander Hoffmann, and Christian Stiebner.

‘Low-cost protein at a planetary scale’

“We’re proud to be backed by an amazing group of experienced climate tech investors who share our mission,” Farmless CEO and founder Adnan Oner said in a statement. “With our fermentation platform, we aim to dramatically outperform animal agriculture and reliably produce low-cost proteins at a planetary scale. We believe this technology has the potential to end factory farming, rewild our planet, and draw down gigatons of carbon.”

Farmless founder Adnan Oner
Farmless founder Adnan Oner | courtesy

Farmless uses an innovative fermentation method to generate functional proteins with a complete amino acid profile, while also separating food production from agricultural land. By turning renewable energy into food without the need for arable land, Farmless says it can help to revolutionize the future of food.

“For too long, have we relied on vast tracts of land to grow our food,” reads the Farmless website. “We’ve plowed and tilled the earth, destroyed the soil, and torn up forests to make room for (animal) agriculture. This unchecked and unsustainable expansion of our food system has led to a devastating loss of biodiversity on our planet, with countless species facing extinction as a result of the destruction of their natural habitats.”

Cutting out the middle man

The company says it can reverse the impact of conventional food production by cutting out photosynthesis “the middle man” and replacing it with a fermentation process that relies on a liquid feedstock produced using renewable energy, CO2, and hydrogen. The technique is significantly more resource- and land-efficient compared to traditional animal farming. It requires 10-25 times less land than plant-based protein production and 250-500 times less than animal protein production.

international day of plants
Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

Lauren Lentz from Revent expressed her enthusiasm for Farmless’ approach. “We’re excited by the Farmless approach to fermentation,” she said. “We’re specifically interested in food technologies with high scalability and the potential to rapidly outperform on the cost per kg of protein. Across both of these dimensions, Farmless shows great potential, and it’s a delight to work with this remarkable team.”

The initial products developed by Farmless are intended to replace animal proteins, as a large portion of agricultural land is currently utilized for animal feed. The company says its fermentation platform has the potential to create a new range of food products, encompassing proteins, carbohydrates, beneficial fats, vitamins, and minerals.


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