Last week, All G Foods raised $25 million to ramp up production of its cell milk and plant-based alternative protein products.
UK-based Agronomics, a VC that focuses on opportunities in cellular agriculture, contributed $15 million and $10 million through an affiliate investment vehicle called New Agrarian Company.
All G Foods founder Jan Pacas says SmartCompany the lion’s share of that funding will go to the Cellular Milk side of the business.
“It’s a much more complex project,” he says. “It hasn’t been done before in the world, so we’re doubling down on this one.”
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All G Foods hopes to be the first in the Asia-Pacific region to launch, and Pacas says the funding will go a long way to addressing the many challenges faced by companies innovating in the fast-growing industry.
“We have to overcome regulatory challenges, we have to overcome scaling challenges. We have the science, we can make it in the lab, but we still have to make it cheaper. »
Agronomics has backed a number of leading companies and has experience in the field, so Pacas says All G Foods feels “privileged” to work with the company.
“They really understand the future of protein as well as cellular agriculture,” Pacas said.
As part of the deal, All G Foods will have access to Agronomics’ fermentation tanks and bioreactors to ramp up production, hoping to one day set up facilities in Australia.
The The “bottlenecks” facing alternative protein industries have a lot to do with product novelty and unfamiliarity, Pacas says.
“While it is molecularly identical [to cow’s milk]how we make it different, and that’s what the regulator needs to be familiar with. »
He was quick to point out that the technology is already approved in the United States and Singapore, with Singapore set to be an initial test market for All G Foods’ dairy products.
“China is not the first import market [for us] because it’s too important and too big,” Pacas said. Australia, Indonesia, Japan and others will follow Singapore.
Another hurdle is consumer acceptance of an unknown product, even though Pacas was confident they would accept cell milk because of its taste, nutritional value and low environmental impact.
“If I can give you A2 milk, which is free of lactose, allergens and antibiotics, but contains A2 protein, and is produced in a completely sustainable way, where it does not harm animals and does not doesn’t need excessive terrestrial water or the sun to grow, it’s a complete game-changer.
“We take the genetic information of the molecule, we put it in a yeast or in a bacillus, we program it, and then it becomes mini small cellular factories which create on a large scale. It’s basically replicating the same manufacturing process that happens in a cow’s udder – where you have the genetic information from a cow’s udder and you grow the milk into a cow’s udder – but we grow it in a bioreactor.
In February, All G Foods announced a multi-million dollar injection from W23, the Woolworths Group’s venture capital and growth fund, at a investment boom in plant-based alternatives to meat.