Ghent, 23 January 2024 – Protealis, a leading innovator in seed solutions for sustainable plant proteins based in Ghent (Belgium), proudly announces the successful completion of its B-Round funding, raising a substantial EUR 22 million. Existing investors, including Agri Investment Fund, overwhelmingly reconfirmed their support for the company’s mission in an oversubscribed funding round, defying today’s challenging investment climate. The proceeds from the B-Round funding will be instrumental in fuelling Protealis’ continued commercial development and expansion in key European markets while growing its crop product portfolio and supporting technology platforms. These include high-tech innovations such as prediction of crop yield and quality, based on a combination genetic fingerprinting and AI, to further accelerate the introduction of new and better protein crop varieties to the market. This capital round implies a significant milestone for the company to continue its mission to sustainably transform the agricultural landscape.
Protealis focuses on pioneering sustainable solutions for European farmers, addressing the growing demand for plant-based protein sources. The company’s seed and seed breeding technology platforms not only enhance crop and protein level yields but also minimize the ecological impact of agriculture. By focusing on locally adapted legume crops that don’t require any additional mineral nitrogen fertilizers, Protealis aims to strengthen regional food systems and bring novel opportunities to farmers, while contributing to global sustainability goals. This is fully in line with Agri Investment Fund’s mission to support innovative and new technologies for stronger and more sustainable agriculture and horticulture.
David Buckeridge, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Protealis, commented: “Successfully securing EUR 22 million from our investors in today’s challenging investment market shows that the rationale for Protealis and its mission for sustainable and high performance legume crops as an essential part of our future agriculture, is even bigger today than at our foundation. Looking at the rapid evolution of trends such as Regenerative Agriculture, there is no doubt that these systems will require significantly larger areas of legumes to be grown in Europe. This demands we breed for much higher field performance than is available for farmers today. Protealis is leading the industry in this area.”
In the past year, Protealis achieved significant milestones, including the successful launch of two proprietary soy seed varieties for colder European climates. The company also established a new speed breeding facility, now operational for over a year, to shorten the traditional breeding cycle by several years, and implemented a genomic mating platform to predict plant traits and enhance disease resistance when introducing new plant protein varieties. Positive yield trial results with yellow pea, the company’s upcoming legume crop and already a popular plant protein source for many food processors, further demonstrate Protealis’ commitment to keep innovating towards a more sustainable agriculture.
Benjamin Laga, CEO of Protealis, continued: “These positive results have resonated with investors within and outside of Protealis, positioning our company as a leader in the rapidly evolving landscape of plant-based protein solutions. With this funding, we are well-positioned to accelerate our commercial efforts and expand our footprint in the European market, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.”
The Series B fundraising was fully backed by the existing investor base, composed of
V-Bio Ventures (BE), PMV (BE), VIB (BE), ILVO (BE), Agri Investment Fund (BE), Innovation Industries (NL), Korys Investments (BE), HFT Holding (NL), Thia Ventures (SG/BE), Gemma Frisius Fund (BE), Globachem Group (BE) and Estari Group (LU), underlining a solid trust in Protealis’ mission.
Protealis was launched as a spin-off from VIB and ILVO in April 2021 with EUR 6.0m VC funds, backed by an additional EUR 5.7m raised in its extended Series A round announced on 2 September 2022.
Renate Degrave, Head of Communications and Marketing Protealis
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