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Dutch food-tech Farmless raises €4.8 million to increase food security by brewing proteins independent from agricultural land

December 7, 2023

Farmless, the Amsterdam-based fermentation startup, has raised a €4.8 million seed round co-led by World Fund and Vorwerk Ventures, with participation from Revent. The company, which brews planet-friendly, functional proteins with a complete amino acid profile, will use the funds to build a pilot protein brewery in Amsterdam, develop its fermentation platform, and continue the process of regulatory approval.

The Farmless process combines the ancient craft of fermentation – which has been used for millennia to brew beer and bake bread – with a modern feedstock (the scientific term for a starter liquid).  Whereas most fermentation companies rely on sugar, Farmless uses a feedstock made from CO2, water, nitrogen and renewable energy – completely bypassing the need for agricultural land.

By using a feedstock that can entirely be made from renewable energy, Farmless is able to brew proteins with up to 5,000 times less land than beef. Farmless’ fermentation platform can significantly reduce demand for animal products, giving back farmland to nature, reforest our planet, reverse biodiversity loss and draw down gigatons of carbon. The platform is designed from the ground up to be affordable, simple and efficient.

"In today's unpredictable world, where climate change threatens crop yields, our fermentation platform offers an antifragile solution for food security," commented Adnan Oner, Founder & CEO of Farmless. "This allows any country to take control of their protein production, without the need for fertile land. If we unlock the protein-producing powers of the microbial kingdoms, we can create a future worth getting excited about. We can have an abundant, cruelty-free food supply and rewild the world, restore forests, all while drawing down  gigatonnes of CO2 from the air. We’re excited to see that we had overwhelming investor interest in this round. We’re thrilled to have found investors who share our sense of urgency in creating dramatically better ways of producing proteins on a planetary scale."

“Moving away from sugar as a feedstock for fermentation represents a significant opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions of fermentation-based food production," added Dr Nadine Geiser, Principal at World Fund. "At World Fund, we only invest in startups with the greatest climate performance potential – and there is a significant need to reduce emissions in the farming, agriculture and land use category (FALU). The FALU category is responsible for around 22% of emissions globally, but receives just 12% of venture funding for climate, so it’s critical we back more startups like Farmless, which has the potential to drastically reduce land use from agriculture, and to improve biodiversity globally.”

“We’re glad to back Farmless’ approach, which leverages molecular biology, food science and physics to develop superior food products that outperform its animal counterparts on all dimensions with significantly reduced climate impact," said Peter Schmetz, Principal at Vorwerk Ventures. “We’re convinced that the Farmless team will continue to pioneer in making the food industry more sustainable - one of our investment themes at Vorwerk Ventures.“

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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