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Farmless secures €1.2 million to develop ‘carbon negative’ microbial protein using renewable energy

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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Image credit: Farmless

Amsterdam-based start-up Farmless has raised €1.2 million (£1.04M) in pre-seed funding to scale its fermentation platform that uses renewable energy, hydrogen and carbon dioxide to create a ‘carbon negative’ microbial protein.

Founded in September 2022 by Physicist and entrepreneur Adnan Oner, the company is developing a fermentation platform that combines a Non-GMO strain of bacteria with CO2, H2, and an unspecified source of renewable energy to create sustainable complete proteins that could sufficiently replace animal meat.

Other start-ups worldwide are also using fermentation techniques to create protein from a single cell using hydrogen and carbon dioxide, such as Finland’s Solar Foods and California-based Air Protein. However, while these companies use gaseous feedstocks, Farmless uses a liquid version made with CO2 and H2.

The start-up’s funding round was led by Possible Ventures, Nucleus Capital and Revent, with other investors including Sustainable Food Ventures, TeT Ventures, VOYAGERS Climate-Tech Fund, and Hack Capital. Angel investors Jenny Saft from the Atomico Angel programme, Martin Weber, Nadine Geiser, Joy Faucher, Michele Tarawneh, Alexander Hoffmann, Christian Stiebner, and Ron Shigeta also contributed to the fund.

“We’re excited by the Farmless approach to fermentation”, said Lauren Lentz, General Partner at Revent.”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 start-up plans to use the recent funding to move out of stealth mode, expand its team, and continue developing the fermentation platform.  

While for now Farmless is focussed on developing functional complete proteins, it says its technology could also create new forms of carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in the future.

In response to the news, Oner, founder and CEO of Farmless said in a statement: “We’re proud to be backed by an amazing group of experienced climate tech investors who share our mission. 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”.

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