Onego Bio Poaches $40M Series A to Launch Precision-Fermented Egg Protein in North America

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Finnish precision fermentation startup Onego Bio has closed a $40M Series A funding round to commercialise its animal-free egg protein, Bioalbumen. It expects to obtain self-affirmed GRAS status in the US soon, paving the way for its market entry in North America.

The investment round was led by Japanese-Finnish VC firm NordicNinja, with participation from Tesi, EIT Food, and existing investors Agronomics,, Holdix and Turret (among others). It also includes $10M non-dilutive financing from the government innovation organisation Business Finland.

One of the largest Series A rounds in the Nordics, it brings the company’s total investment to $56M. The funding will be used to fuel Onego Bio’s commercialisation strategy for North America, where it is expecting regulatory clearance for its animal-free Bioalbumen protein soon.

“Egg protein remains one of nature’s most perfect foods; this single ingredient supplies more than 20 different functional benefits from aeration to emulsification and gelation,” said co-founder and CEO Maija Itkonen, who founded the startup with CTO Christopher Landowski in 2022 as a spinoff from the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. “While it may sound scientific, the value is in our mouths every day with velvety cake structures, silky-smooth mayonnaises, crispy nugget batterings, or those chewy-fluffy nougat fillings, just to mention few.”

How Onego Bio makes its Bioalbumen egg protein

precision fermentation egg
Courtesy: Onego Bio

Onego Bio uses a fungal strain called Trichoderma reesei – the same microbe used by Californian precision fermentation pioneer Perfect Day for its whey protein – to create a bioidentical version of ovalbumin, the major protein found in egg whites (making up about 54% of the protein content).

The company introduced the genetic blueprint of ovalbumin to the fungi cells through a scientific database that acts like a library, which enables them to produce egg proteins instead of their own. The company feeds the microbes on sugar in a process similar to beer brewing, except the end result is not alcohol, of course. The fungus is either starved with little food or allowed to “gorge on glucose” depending on the stage of the production process – essentially, once it’s fed plenty of glucose and then starved of it, the fungus starts sweating proteins.

The resulting Bioovalbumin is then placed into a fermentation tank with water and fungal biomass. The latter is separated to procure a liquid containing the egg protein, which is then dried into a powder. Onego Bio’s patented tech can produce 120g of protein per litre in 250,000-litre fermentation vessels, which the startup says allows it to reach close to price parity with conventional egg proteins.

Its Bioalbumin is a nutritionally complete protein, containing all essential amino acids and the highest possible protein digestibility score, delivering over 90g of protein per 100g of egg white. There are environmental benefits attached to this as well, with the company’s protein requiring 95% less land and generating 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than chicken eggs. It is also working on alternative feedstocks to eliminate its reliance on corn sugar and grasslands and further lower its climate footprint.

“Eggs are an essential part of food businesses, but with the egg market constantly fluctuating due to avian flu and increased demand for cage-free, manufacturers are challenged to find a viable replacement with a consistent, reliable, and safe supply of high-quality protein at an accessible price,” said Agronomics co-founder and executive chairman Jim Mellon. “A long-term sustainable solution for chicken eggs is needed.”

Onego Bio expects US regulatory approval soon

onego bio
A mockup of Onego Bio’s industrial-scale manufacturing facility | Courtesy: Onego Bio

Onego Bio will use the Series A capital to accelerate its go-to-market strategy for North America, which includes scaling up to industrial production levels and expanding its US commercial team. As a precision fermentation startup, its product will need safety approval from the US FDA – the company says it’s on track to receive self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the country this year, and expected a ‘no further questions’ letter from the regulator in 2025.

So far, only California’s The Every Co has secured FDA approval for precision-fermented egg proteins in the US – the startup recently secured a third ‘no questions letter’ for expanded applications of its egg white protein, made from Komagataella phaffii. (Germany’s Formo is the only other company working in this space, with its precision-fermented egg alternative set to launch later this year).

But Onego Bio’s forthcoming self-affirmed GRAS status would join a fast-growing list of regulatory breakthroughs for the US precision fermentation sector – Vivici, New Culture, Oobli and Imagindairy have all announced GRAS (whether self-affirmed or via an FDA letter) status this year alone.

To facilitate its market entry, Onego Bio is working with co-manufacturers and finalising its in-house production plans as well. This approach involves securing offtake agreements and obtaining non-dilutive funding for the construction of its first manufacturing unit, which would boast a two-million-litre fermentation capacity. This will effectively replace an egg farm with six million laying hens.

Its animal-free egg protein is said to have a neutral flavour and superior functional properties, making it an ideal industrial ingredient for replacing eggs and enhancing the taste and texture of a wide range of food applications. The startup has already teamed up with over 25 CPG companies, which are incorporating Bioalbumen into products like baked goods, confectionery, snacks, sauces, pastas, and meat analogues, among others.

“Onego Bio is taking all the right steps to commercialise in record time,” said Nordic Ninja managing partner Tomosaku Sohara. “They are a next-generation precision fermentation company, with a clear path to industrialization, go-to-market, and profitability. With technology that is designed to scale and such a strong team, they really stand out.”

While Onego Bio is targeting North America as its first point of entry due to an easier regulatory landscape, it eventually aims to expand into South America, Asia and Europe too. “By repurposing a well-established technology from the enzyme industry for food protein production, they are well-positioned to scale to the massive volumes needed to futureproof the supply of the world’s most versatile and popular food protein,” noted Mellon.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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