Funding boost for Apparo to accelerate development and commercialization of sunflower protein ingredients
Apparo, a plant protein ingredient company, has announced a Series A investment of US$3.5 million co-led by Endeavor8 and Finistere Ventures. Blue Horizon also joined the funding round.
The funding will support Apparo’s development of sunflower protein ingredients incorporating its Total Crop Utilization system. The TCU system applies Apparo’s patent-pending technology to extract sunflower protein ingredients to meet the demands of the rapidly growing plant-based food protein market. In 2021, the US plant-based foods market grew at 21% (US$35.6 billion), and over the next four years it is expected to grow to US$79 billion.
“At least 200,000 tons of plant protein ingredients are needed to reach the 2026 market demand, which is a huge opportunity for new sources of protein ingredients, particularly highly functional native proteins such as our Solistein™ sunflower protein isolate,” commented Ian Mackay, CEO of Apparo. “With two successful co-manufacturing trials for our Solistein ingredients, our experienced team is now poised for a rapid ramp-up of the commercialization of our products.”
Apparo’s technology makes use of existing crop byproducts as a feedstock to create the Solistein protein ingredients. This allows Apparo to narrow the protein gap without additional impact on the environment. Karl Kerksiek, CEO and Managing Director of Endeavor8, said, “I am enthusiastic about supporting Ian’s vision of building sunflower into a top protein ingredient for nutritious clean-label foods through Apparo’s proprietary technology.”
“The story of innovation in the food value chain is always one of doing more with less," added Spencer Maughan, Managing Partner of Finistere Ventures. "At Finistere, we recognize that the strain from climate volatility demands more sustainable ways of bringing new protein streams online. Apparo is right on target to deliver this outcome, and we are excited to partner with them.”
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