The major lesson of the Cleantech 1.0 era was “reduce or avoid the Capex.” Today, in the new Cleantech 2.0 era, we are always looking for companies that can scale up without the huge investment needed into expensive facilities.
Proteinea is a new approach to the field of precision fermentation. You might call it “bioreactor-free.” Rather than growing high-value complex biologics in e coli, or in yeast, or even in insect cells – inside large steel bioreactors – Proteinea uses whole insect larva, growing on low-cost feedstocks. These larva are inoculated and produce the target biologic in every cell, then through downstream processing, the target biologic is extracted and purified.
With this approach, bioproduction can scale up far more rapidly and with ultra-low capex spend. Right now, Proteinea is working on multiple projects with three corporate partnerships. One is scaling up a polio-vaccine. One is an aquafeed vaccine. And one is a biologic drug.
Proteinea has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
Alan Perlstein, CEO
Around a decade ago, cocoa bean cells were cultured in giant, 20,000 liter bioreactors – it worked, except for one little problem. To get the cells to grow, they had to use the main toxic ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp. California Cultured has solved that issue by enticing cocoa cells to grow with stimulation by food ingredients you’d find in any grocery store. Second-time founder Alan Perlstein (Joywell Foods) leads this team, which is going to market rapidly with a D2C subscription model.
The benefits extend beyond social impact. California Cultured’s cocoa cells are less bitter, which helps human health. This is important because conventional chocolate can be 50% sugar to counteract cocoa’s bitterness. California Cultured is aiming to reduce sugar content 10x.
California Cultured has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
Osahon Ojeaga, CEO
Aja Labs, led by an impressive team of African American and female founders, aims to be the ethical and more sustainable choice in hair extensions and weaves. Aja Labs makes human-like hair from plants by utilizing proprietary fiber processing, biotechnology, and microparticle technology to upcycle waste crop matter into premium, healthy hair extension products. The team is engineering sustainable fibers using materials that are better for human and planetary health.
Aja Labs has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
The world is changing faster than crops can adapt. To make crops more adaptive, we need a speedier way to alter their gene expression. Most plant genes are unexplored because their role is too subtle to be picked up by GWAS. Avalo.ai are leaders in interpretable machine learning in the realm of agricultural genetics.
This drastically narrows (by around 100x) the scope of candidate genes to validate. Paired with a system to deliver gene regulators via the soil, Avalo.ai attempts to replace the trial-and-error breeding of the past with a computational and programmable responsive system.
Avalo.ai has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
OncoPrecision has raised $850,000, from SOSV, GridX, Genesis Consortium and FPM.
John Diener, CEO
Vertical farms are exploding, but why grow lettuce? There's something else you can grow that generates 12x more revenue, on the same minimal land footprint. No, it's not marijuana. It's shrimp - in multi-story vertical oceans.
Humankind’s future will include cultured meat and plant-based meat, but it will also include sustainably grown animal protein. What “self-driving” is to the car industry, “self-cleaning” is to the booming aquaculture industry. Zero waste, zero effluent. With Feed-Conversion-Ratios (FCRs) below 1.0. Vertical Oceans aims to be the world’s first seafood company to reach these hallowed benchmarks. The whole system is run on their biocomputer. Having just moved from their pilot facility to a larger demo facility in Singapore, they’ll be running four harvests this spring and are coming to Chicago soon. Their jumbo shrimp are 16-20 per pound.
Vertical Oceans has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.
In fermentation, biologists focus on free-floating bacteria and yeast for making products today – and if biofilms develop, it’s a big problem. Capra reverses that equation. In nature, 99% of all microbial activity takes place in biofilms, and at Capra, biofilms are the solution. Biofilms mean more cells and less water – resulting in a process that requires less infrastructure and minimal downstream processing. These bring cost savings of at least 50%, and up to 90%.
Capra Biosciences has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.
Dr. Chris Rhodes, CEO
Dr. Chris Rhodes, the CEO of Panacea Longevity and nutrition influencer with over 150K followers on TikTok (@thatnutritiondr), wants to change that. Panacea Longevity has invented the world’s first “fasting mimetic” supplement designed from years of human research at UC Davis to give people the benefits of fasting without the fasting. How? By supplementing with a combination of the same beneficial bioactive metabolites your body naturally produces during a prolonged fast.
Unlike their competition, Panacea’s fasting mimetic is designed from human research, for maximum human benefit. These are the compounds that evolved in your own body over millennia to induce a “bio-program” of cellular health, regeneration, and longevity. The results? Panacea has shown that their fasting mimetic extends lifespan by a stunning 74% in model organisms and creates powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in human cells. If that already has you drooling, don’t worry, Panacea is racing to market for a launch this year so you can finally have breakfast without breaking your fast!
Panacea Longevity has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
- Jen-Yu Huang, CEO
Despite huge sales jumps, plant meat is only 2.5% of the protein market. For the next wave of growth, plant meat needs to be more like animal meat.
Vegan oils have different textures, melting points, water content, and flavor-volatility than animal fats. Lypid are the inventors of PhytoFat, a line of fats made from vegan oils that can be tuned to precise textures and melting points. They do this without additives like texturizers, emulsifiers, or hydrogenation. Their secret? Water. Which makes their products healthier, lower cost, and more fat-like.
Lypid has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
Being able to detect and identify everything through scent has long been a holy grail in tech. Canaery is a neural interface company from the Rinberg Lab at NYU, the world’s leading lab for how olfactory information is represented in the brain. Canaery will do for scent what machine vision has done for sight.
Canaery has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium.
Can Green Chemistry be a high-margin business? The conventional wisdom has been "no." Bio-Nylon, for example, has a big Green Premium because manufacture is so expensive. Ozone Bio changes the bio-nylon industry's economics -- enabling high margin and massive growth. In addition, they can make Nylon a circular-economy product for the first time, using lignin waste from the paper industry. Their process is so super-scalable that they are already working at 50 liters volume.
Ozone Bio has raised $500,000, from SOSV and Genesis Consortium
Sundial makes plant-based chicken wings wrapped with a signature and delicious skin. Their 1.0 product already has flexitarians raving, from a trial in 41 stores where it earned 85% approval rating, and they are hard at work inventing Skin 2.0. The co-founders are plant and cell biologists from UC Berkeley.
Sundial Foods has raised over $500,000, from SOSV and Nestle.
Prolific Machines has raised $500,000, from SOSV.