Finnish foodtech company Solar Foods, creator of Solein, the plantanimal-free protein grown from a single cell using hydrogen and carbon dioxide, has raised €10 million which it’ll invest in its first production facility – Factory 01 – in Vantaa, Finland. The funding comes from The Pharmacy Pension Fund (Apteekkien eläkekassa), the oldest pension provider in Finland.
Work to build Factory 01 started at the end of 2021 and Solar Foods expects that commercial production of Solein will begin in the first half of 2023.
The facility will not only be used for making the innovative protein, but it will also be open to the public. Visitors will be able to take a tour of the Experience Hub, see how Solein is produced and try a selection of foods made with the ingredient.
Dr Pasi Vainikka, Co-Founder and CEO says of the investment: “It’s amazing what we have achieved together. The investment in the property effectively releases a corresponding amount of equity for us to develop our core technology, so it’s a direct injection in our runway.
“I’m proud that we are able to demonstrate a unique set-up supporting the progress of a deep-tech start-up while creating a sustainable investment case. The Pharmacy Pension Fund has the longest heritage of all pension funds in Finland, which makes us all the more excited to be working together towards 2030 and our long-term plans for the future of food.”
Solein, which comes in powder form, is packed with vitamins, including B9 and B12, as well as minerals and fibre. It can be used in a variety of food formulation, such as an egg substitute, in place of dairy in soft cheese, yoghurt and protein drinks, in plant-based meat alternatives and in cultured meat.
Solar Foods have applied for novel food approval in the UK, the EU, and are also working on obtaining approval from the US.