First believers
Arnaud Baraer, Principal

Fermentation: the new game-changer for alternative proteins?

Do you know that the animal-protein market causes more environmental damage than any other single food product? That’s because it is very intensive in water, energy and land space. A technology has the potential to drastically reduce the impact of the food sector: fermentation. Switzerland-based startup planetary is announcing today its $8 million (CHF 7.5m) Seed fundraising to build microbial fermentation capacity globally. XAnge is proud to be part of this round, alongside Astanor Ventures, Blue Horizon and Nucleus Capital.

A centuries-old process reinvented 

Fermentation is a technology that enables the programming of micro-organisms to produce complex organic molecules such as proteins. It relies on a centuries-old process that uses microbes (such as yeast or fungi) to break down a compound (such as sugar), and creates a by-product (like alcohol – or, in this case, protein). 

Mycelial biomass fermentation leverages the fast growth and high protein content of many microorganisms to efficiently produce large quantities of protein. For instance, Quorn and Meati use filamentous fungi as the base for their products.

Precision fermentation uses microbial hosts as “cell factories” for producing specific functional ingredients, animal-free dairy or eggs. Leading players active in the space are Perfect Day, Motif, Formo or The Every Company.

The process of fermentation has numerous advantages, such as land and feedstock efficiency. Besides, the protein produced has the potential to be priced at least on par with the animal one it replaces.


Building bioprocessing capacity globally

It’s no surprise that this rapidly growing alternative protein production technology has already attracted nearly $2 billion in investments in 2021 alone. Yet, industrial scale bioprocessing capacity remains a bottleneck to the industry and is largely unavailable.

planetary is solving this by building bioprocessing, downstream and formulation capacity globally. With this $8 million seed financing round, they will initiate the construction of their Swiss flagship plant and accelerate their R&D investments, in order to enable biomass and precision fermentation players to scale up and mass produce at low cost.

Led by David Brandes (who previously founded and exited Peace of Meat) and Ian Marison (CEO Biofactory Competence Center), planetary is perfectly positioned to enable the promising and exciting fermentation industry to grow. XAnge will support planetary’s ambition to become a key player in the field, allowing consumers worldwide to opt for food habits that are better for the planet.

Looking for more content ?

Subscribe to our Newsletter & Follow us on Social Networks

Discover our newsletter

Our Team

Our Portfolio