For millennia, food innovators have used fermentation to create delicious things like beer, yogurt, and sourdough bread. Now, at least 88 precision fermentation startups have collectively raised more than $2.8 billion to develop animal proteins—without the animals and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, they program microorganisms to produce proteins chemically identical to those found in nature. But can they ferment these proteins in quantities great enough to replace the farmed versions?
At the SOSV Climate Tech Summit (Oct. 25-26), BioBrew, an AB InBev-affiliated project, and The Every Company (fka Clara Foods) discussed how they have partnered to scale up fermented proteins. You can hear their discussion in the video below.
EVERY founder and CEO Arturo Elizondo has built a food tech unicorn that makes real animal protein through precision fermentation without using a single animal. Elizondo’s team has raised $240M backed by McWin, Rage Capital, Temasek, Wheatsheaf Group, SOSV, TO Ventures, and Prosus Ventures. A graduate of SOSV’s IndieBio program, EVERY has earned praise for its animal-free egg white proteins, now used in Chantal Guillon macarons and Pressed protein smoothies.
Also joining the panel was Patrick O’Riordan, founder of BioBrew, whose team focuses on precision fermentation at commercial scale. BioBrew is backed by ZX Ventures, the investment arm of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer. In April 2021, BioBrew and EVERY inked a deal to ramp up production of animal-free egg proteins. By applying technology from Ab InBev, perhaps BioBrew and EVERY can ferment at a scale that would disrupt factory farming and make a difference for the climate.
Dr. Pae Wu, General Partner at SOSV and Chief Technical Officer at IndieBio, moderated the panel. An electrical engineer by training, Dr. Wu transitioned into biotechnology while serving the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Is the world ready for ferm-to-table proteins? And will they make a difference for our climate?
Arturo Elizondo is Founder and CEO of food technology company, The EVERY Company, based in Silicon Valley. EVERY leveraged precision fermentation to brew real animal proteins without the use of a single animal – starting with the world’s first animal-free egg proteins made without chickens.
Prior to founding EVERY under the name Clara Foods in 2014, Arturo served under Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the investment bank Credit Suisse.
Patrick O’Riordan is founder and Global Head of BioBrew, a corporate venture of AB InBev that aims to bring advanced precision fermentation to commercial scale. Previously, O’Riordan was co-founding partner and VP Exploration at ZX Ventures, the global investment and innovation group of AB InBev. He holds a PhD in Food Science & Technology from University College Cork, Ireland.
Dr. Pae Wu is a Partner at SOSV and CTO at IndieBio, where she is responsible for portfolio management and technical oversight. Prior to joining IndieBio, Pae served as the Scientific Director of Telefónica’s moonshot factory, Alpha (in Barcelona). She was Science Director at the US Office of Naval Research – Global (out of Singapore), and technical consultant at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).