-KH News Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michroma, a business in food technology, has raised $6.4 million in initial money to hasten the commercialization of their platform for fungal food colours.
“We are poised to meet consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food without petroleum-based ingredients,” said Ricky Cassini, co-founder and chief executive officer of Michroma. “Unlike the current generation of unstable natural options, like betalains, carminic acid and anthocyanins, Michroma is producing better-performing natural colorants powered by fungi. This next stage of our development will help us industrialize our fungal platform and enable the world’s transition to natural colors.”
Michroma was established in 2019 and its first item is a red colourant made with precision fermentation and synthetic biology. According to the manufacturer, Red+ can tolerate demanding procedures like pasteurisation, frying, and extrusion since it is temperature-resistant and stable across the whole food pH spectrum.
“By combining a unique fungal chassis strain with precision fermentation, we are capable of producing high-value complex molecules with high yields previously unseen in the biotech industry,” said Mauricio Braia, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer of Michroma.
For the international distribution of Red+, Michroma is negotiating contracts with ingredient suppliers. The company also intends to file colour additive petitions with the European Food Safety Authority and the US Food and Drug Administration. The start-up announced that it would increase its capacity for research and development and diversify its range of ingredients to include more hues, flavours, and smells.
Supply Change Capital, a fund supported by General Mills, Inc.’s corporate venture capital arm, took the lead in the seed round. Be8 Ventures, supported by the multinational food giant Dr. Oetker, and CJ CheilJedang, a Korean conglomerate and supplier of fermentation-based bioproducts, are among the new investors.
Additional investors are FEN Ventures, Boro Capital, The Mills Fabrica, Portfolia’s Food & Ag Tech Fund, New Luna Ventures, Siddhi Capital, Groundswell Ventures and HackCapital, as well as angel investors Allen Miner, Jun Ueki and Steve Zurcher from the Keiretsu Japan Forum, Guillermo Rosental, Franco Goytia, Pablo Pla and Mat Travizano. Existing investors participating in the round are SOSV’s IndieBio and GRIDX.