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Nourish cooks up $28.6M for animal-free fats

Oct 19, 2022
Illustration of a burger stacked high with money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nourish Ingredients, a food tech company making animal-free fats for alternative meats, raised $28.6 million to get its product to market.

Why it matters: Demand will continue to grow as alternative proteins evolve to taste better and become more authentic, CEO James Petrie tells Axios.

What’s happening: The Series A round was led by Horizons Ventures with Main Sequence Ventures and Hostplus participating in the tranche.

What’s next: The Australian company hopes to bring to market its first product in 2023.

  • Nourish is seeking partnerships with B2C retailers and specialty B2B companies, Petrie says.
  • “You've got to get enough of this stuff into the hands of your partners, your customers in order for them to be able to do their own validations of it,” he says, which has been the company’s main focus for the past six months.
  • The new funds will help the company ramp up production to “push the button” on commercialization, he says.
  • He hopes the company will hit the right notes with pork, chicken and beef so that the ingredients can be used in various alternative meat products.

How it works: Nourish uses precision fermentation to emulate the animal fats that make the alt proteins sizzle, smell and taste similar to their animal counterparts, Petrie says.

  • “We've done a deep dive into, at a molecular level, that piece of meat before it cooks and then after it cooks to understand what are the fat and oil molecules that are responsible,” Petrie says.
  • Then it comes down to the taste — smoky, roasted? — and aroma that’s associated with certain meats.
  • “We brew it, you chew it,” he quips.

State of play: Alternative proteins — made from plants or completely cultivated in a lab — have won the hearts of investors who see the next wave of consumer trends centered on healthy eating and eco-conscious.

While industry names like Beyond Meat have struggled to maintain growth, meat alternatives continue to attract venture dollars.

  • Upside Foods scored one of the industry’s biggest funding rounds this year with a $400 million Series C raise in April.
  • Remilk, a Tel Aviv startup that creates milk proteins without the cow, garnered $120 million in its Series B in January.
  • Hooray Foods said it is eyeing a raise of $10 million-$15 million in a Series A, following its $2.7 million seed extension round last fall.
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