Solar Foods Raises Additional €15 Million

Solar Foods

writer icon Hanne Larsen     Solar Foods   |   Startups     🕐 14. Sep. 2020

With the current global challenges, Finnish Solar Foods have found a solution, one that when first presented seems somewhat unreal.

Solar Foods have created a natural protein produced with carbon dioxide and renewable electricity, a solution which is ten times better than plants and a hundred times more climate-friendly than meat. This will undoubtedly change the global environment.

Solar Foods is revolutionising the food production industry with its unique single-cell protein, using a method that is not dependent on agriculture, the weather, nor the climate.

The company was founded in 2017, in Espoo, Finland, by Dr Pasi Vainikka, Dr Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Sami Holmström, Jari Tuovinen, Professor Jero Ahola and Janne Mäkelä as a spinoff from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the LUT University.

The Investment
Solar Foods has closed its Series A financing round with €15M new financing. The announced investment extends the Series A financing round to total €18.5M, including the €3.5M convertibles raised in late 2019.

The largest food-tech financing round in Finland to date was led by Fazer Group with Bridford Investments Limited, Agronomics Limited, Lifeline Ventures and CPT Capital.

“We are thrilled of our new partners and their vast experience now at Solar Foods’ disposal. This development now enables us to successfully proceed with our planned production facility,” said Dr. Pasi Vainikka, CEO and co-founder of Solar Foods.

“We have been with Solar Foods from the very beginning and have been extremely impressed with how their team has consistently delivered on all expectations. I am also very happy that this financing round has brought together an excellent group of highly experienced investors who understand the industry thoroughly,” said Juha Lindfors, partner at Lifeline Ventures and Chairman of Solar Foods.

The commercialisation of Solein®
Solar Foods is the first company capable of producing food by using air-captured CO2 in a complete and continuous mode, including the preparation of the actual final food products. Solar Foods produces an entirely new kind of nutrient-rich protein, Solein®, by using air and electricity as its primary raw materials. This process revolutionises food production, as the production of Solein is non-dependent on agriculture, climate, or the weather.

A new production plant, enabled by the new funds raised, will be a key milestone in Solar Foods’ path in reaching its vision of changing the way food is produced. The new facility is expected to be operational in late 2022 and will enable the commercialisation of new food products based on the novel platform ingredient. Thus far, Solar Foods has already developed 20 different kinds of food products that utilise Solein.

“We are extremely delighted to be able to go forward toward commercialisation of Solein® protein and bringing it on consumer plates. Our first factory will be located in Finland and is aimed to be the world’s first commercial factory producing food out of air-captured CO2. At the start-up phase, our production is estimated to be 5 million meals a year. We want to disconnect protein production from the ever-increasing use of environmental resources. Turning this possibility into a reality is an exciting prospect,” said Pasi Vainikka.

Powered by Possibilism
Solar Foods has already carried out basic engineering for its production facility and is now entering the permitting process. The unit is planned to demonstrate the future of food production in an urban environment. It is designed to include the Solein Experience Hub and a future-food bar to provide citizens with an entirely new level of transparency in food production, which is why the production facility is also called 'The Demonstrator'.

“New technologies can open windows to the future. Through them, we can see possibilities that were an impossibility only a handful of years ago. It is not a case of opportunism, nor a question of optimism or pessimism. Producing Solein every day is already a tangible reality. At Solar Foods, we are possibilists who want to encourage and empower all people to be part of the solution: creating a better world through better food choices" said Vainikka.

"Our vision is to change the way food is produced, and The Demonstrator’s product is aimed to be permitted as a global novel food. The world has hope. Food of the future is not a utopia – it is happening now,” Vainikka continued.

Natural Protein of Genuine Sustainability
Solein® is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids that is light in both taste and appearance. It vanishes into daily meals, while simultaneously maintaining its rich nutritional value and offering a unified solution that caters to virtually every imaginable meal of today. This new, genuinely sustainable and natural protein also provides exciting opportunities for entirely new foods of tomorrow.

Producing Solein can take place in the toughest of environmental conditions, e.g. the desert, the Arctic, or possibly even in space. Because its production process does not involve irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers applied on open land or animals, Solein stands as the world’s most sustainable protein.

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