Motif FoodWorks closes $226M funding spherical

Dive Transient:

  • Plant-based meals expertise firm Motif Foodworks obtained $226 million in a Collection B funding spherical. The funding was collectively led by the Ontario Academics’ Pension Plan Board via its Academics’ Innovation Platform, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. Different buyers additionally participated.
  • Motif plans to make use of these funds to extend analysis and improvement capabilities, scale and commercialize meals applied sciences and develop its services and worker base. This funding spherical greater than doubles the whole quantity of capital Motif has obtained — including as much as $345 million in all — for the reason that ingredient expertise firm was spun out of Gingko Bioworks in 2019.
  • This blockbuster funding spherical is the newest in big funding hauls by meals expertise corporations. Different companies to put up sizable investments within the final two years embrace cell-based meat and plant-based egg firm Eat Simply, plant-based meat maker Not possible Meals and animal-free dairy firm Excellent Day.

Dive Perception:

Since its starting in 2019, Motif FoodWorks has impressed quite a lot of pleasure — and excessive ranges of fundraising — within the meals business. In its first few months of existence, the substances firm with a mission of utilizing biotechnology to create substances to imitate the proteins naturally present in meat, dairy and eggs had raised a complete of $117.5 million and attracted high expertise from a number of different CPG corporations.

Within the final two years, the corporate has labored onerous on a number of R&D fronts, each internally and in partnership with high analysis universities. It additionally opened a state-of-the-art 10,600-square-foot lab and headquarters in Boston in December. From the corporate’s inception, it mentioned it might launch its first merchandise in 2021, that means that this yr’s pleasure for Motif FoodWorks may simply be the start.

A giant a part of Motif’s objective is to make plant-based consuming extra fascinating by creating substances that enhance the general expertise. In an interview earlier this yr, Motif CEO Jonathan McIntyre defined why.

“What we’re targeted on is how will we proceed to enhance on these experiences, as a result of the patron has mentioned — particularly the mainstream client — that, ‘I wish to eat extra plant-based meals, however I do not just like the style,’ ” he mentioned. “And so if we may also help make the product style considerably higher and extra nutritious, and do it in a clear means, I feel that is the largest means we are able to contact the patron.”

The discharge asserting the funding had no details about the substances and expertise Motif is engaged on or particular tasks that the cash will fund. 

McIntyre mentioned earlier this yr the corporate’s first two substances will probably be a fiber that mimics bits of tendons and ligaments present in conventional meat, and a protein that brings extra conventional shade and taste to plant-based meat and distributes extra iron. There’s extra which may discover its approach to the market quickly. Final month, Motif introduced it had unique entry to applied sciences to create extra genuine fats textures in plant-based meat and substances enhancing the feel of plant-based cheese.

The potential Motif holds to remake the plant-based meals sector appears to have impressed its inaugural funding from the Ontario Academics’ Pension Plan Board. The general public pension plan phase placing cash towards Motif is focused on late-stage enterprise and progress fairness investments in corporations creating revolutionary applied sciences.

Olivia Steedman, senior managing director for the Academics’ Innovation Platform, praised Motif for working to make plant-based consuming extra palatable, and in flip benefiting the setting. This is not the one meals expertise funding spherical to have been led by a sustainability-minded pension fund. The Canada Pension Plan Funding Board led the second portion of Excellent Day’s large funding spherical final July.

As Motif prepares to make among the substances it has developed accessible to producers, the corporate can use among the funds so as to add capability. In any case, the plant-based phase is quickly increasing, with the sector rising 27% final yr, in keeping with SPINS information reported by the Plant Primarily based Meals Affiliation and Good Meals Institute. Analysts count on extra individuals to succeed in for plant-based meat, eggs and dairy as time goes on, and thru its substances and R&D potential, Motif appears poised to assist make these predictions a actuality.

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