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Nuritas, a biotech company developing plant-based peptides, has closed its $45 million Series B round. The company, which lists Bono and The Edge of U2 fame among its key backers, says the financing will accelerate its global expansion and help unlock more plant peptides that can be used to develop sustainable functional foods, supplements and cosmetics.
Nuritas has raised $45 million in a Series B round, led by Cleveland Avenue, a Chicago-based food tech investment firm founded by former McDonald’s chief Dom Thompson, which has previously backed NotCo and Good Planet Foods. Participating investors included Grosvenor’s Wheatsheaf Group, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), Singapore-based Vertex Holdings, among others.
The Series B round brings the Bono and The Edge-backed firm’s total financing to date to $75 million. Other previous prominent backers of Nuritas include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Plant-based peptide platform
Nuritas’ flagship product is its database of plant-based peptides, which have been discovered through its proprietary AI-powered platform, Peptide Finder.
Using the finder, the Dublin-based biotech rapidly analyses billions of previously undiscovered peptides in plants and natural food sources, which can then be turned into functional ingredients with specific nutritional benefits, such as its pea-derived PeptiYouth that promotes skin health, or fava bean-based PeptiStrong that supports muscles.
These ingredients can be incorporated into a wide variety of CPG food products, including supplements and alt-proteins, as well as medical food and even cosmetics.
Nuritas’ platform, which claims to develop new bioactives at 10-fold the speed of traditional discovery methods, has already been backed by players like Nestlé, Mars and Pharmavite.
‘Discovering more life-changing ingredients’
Nuritas says that the new Series B financing will be used to accelerate its expansion internationally and grow its portfolio of plant-based peptide ingredients. The mission, it says, is to “firstly manage and improve human health and secondly help make our food system more sustainable by replacing current unwanted ingredients and molecules with more natural and sustainable ones.”
“Our new investors bring a wealth of invaluable expertise, and this latest round will help to build our US headquarters, continue to expand our team, scale our platform to discover more life-changing ingredients and accelerate our route to market,” said Dr. Nora Khaldi, founder and CEO of Nuritas.
Khaldi added that the firm’s two new products, PeptiYouth and PeptiStrong, are expected to be commercially available in 2022.
For lead investor Cleveland Avenue, the value in Nuritas’ platform lies in its solution for many large corporations that are looking to redesign their products in line with changing consumer preferences towards health and sustainability-focused products. A recent report found that as many as 30% of all major retailers and food manufacturers are now making the pivot to sustainable alternative proteins, for example.
“Its AI-powered peptide discovery platform is a novel and proprietary platform technology that offers unprecedented value to the future of our health and our planet,” shared Cleveland Avenue managing director Randall Lewis. “We anticipate Nuritas will become a global ingredient powerhouse and a partner of choice for companies around the world.”
Other key players in the ingredient development and innovation space include Geltor, the biotech that uses microbial fermentation to develop its range of bio-identical animal-free ingredients for skincare, cosmetics and food. Shiru uses machine learning and biofermentation for its vegan ingredient platform that producers can tap to replace animal-derived components in their products.
All images courtesy of Nuritas, unless otherwise credited.