Shiru Closes $17M Series A to Develop Novel Plant-Based Food Ingredients
Biotech startup's patent-pending discovery platform combines ML and biofermentation to produce plant-based alternatives to eggs, meat, dairy, and gelatin--using a fraction of the land, water, and energy of their animal analogs
EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Shiru, a biotech startup that identifies and creates novel plant-based ingredients for the global food industry, has closed a $17 million Series A round led by S2G Ventures and joined by returning investors Lux Capital, CPT Capital, Y Combinator, and Emles Venture Partners. They are joined by existing investors XFactor, Area VC, and Peak State Ventures. New investors The W Fund, SALT, and Veronorte also participated, bringing Shiru's total funding to date to more than $20 million.
Shiru discovers and creates novel plant-based ingredients so food companies can make delicious, nutritious, and sustainable foods. Shiru develops ingredients expected to meet or exceed their animal analogs on taste, texture, versatility, and cost at scale. The company's patent-pending discovery platform combines machine-learning algorithms and a precision biofermentation process. The result is a spectrum of novel plant-based ingredients that require a small fraction of the land, energy, and water footprint of animal-derived eggs, meat, milk, and gelatins.
"The global food industry is well aware of the voracious demand among consumers for sustainable food, as well as the sector's immense power to help solve our climate crisis," said Shiru CEO and Founder Dr. Jasmin Hume. "Shiru's goal is to make it simple and cost-effective for every food company, from multinational conglomerates to innovative startups, to do the right thing for people and the planet."
Delicious plant-based food ingredients Shiru aims to develop multiple types of functional ingredients, starting with proteins. Shiru's plant-based proteins are categorically different from conventional legume-based additives. The company's scientists have reverse-engineered some of the planet's most popular ingredients from the molecular level, replicating the taste, texture, gelation, foaming, emulsification, and binding abilities of animal proteins. Shiru's versatile ingredients can be used in a wide variety of products that currently require animal-derived proteins, from packaged baked goods and sauces to burgers and yogurt.
"The global food sector is on the cusp of an innovation explosion," said Chuck Templeton, a new Shiru board member and managing director of S2G Ventures, an investment fund focused on healthy food and sustainable agriculture. "Shiru is at the vanguard of a new generation of startups that will transform the agriculture sector, paving the way for a livable planet and increased quality of life for all of us."
Mission matters most Founded by protein biochemist and entrepreneur Dr. Jasmin Hume, Shiru's goal is to make a full suite of sustainable ingredients to help conserve water, decelerate global warming, and halt our planet's extinction crisis. A growing number of consumers are demanding plant-based proteins, forecasted to be a $400 billion market in 2022. Shiru's technology makes it fast and easy for food companies to incorporate next-generation plant-based proteins quickly, without developing and producing the biotechnology in-house. Shiru plans to deliver its first ingredients to global food and CPG companies in 2022.
Shiru will use the newest investment to continue building its team, which spans basic science and fermentation to marketing and business development. Currently employing 22 people, Shiru plans to at least double its workforce within a year. Shiru will also move into a new custom-built headquarters in Alameda, Calif., in the first half 2022 and start scaling up manufacturing.
About Shiru Shiru is a biotech company pioneering next-generation ingredients for use in food manufacturing and production. Founded in 2019, Shiru has developed a precision biofermentation process, combined with machine-learning algorithms to discover and create novel plant-based food ingredients. Powered by a team of technology experts and food industry veterans, Shiru is on a mission to reduce the world's reliance on animals for food by providing delicious, cost-effective, and sustainable plant-based alternatives. Shiru is based in Emeryville, California, and is backed by leading venture capital firms such as S2G Ventures, Lux Capital, and CPT Capital. For more information, visit www.shiru.com.
About S2G Ventures S2G Ventures is a multi-stage venture fund investing across the food, agriculture, oceans and seafood markets. The fund's mission is to catalyze innovation to meet consumer demands for healthy and sustainable food systems. S2G has identified sectors across the food system that are ripe for change, and is building a multi-stage portfolio including seed, venture and growth stage investments. Core areas of interest for S2G are agriculture, oceans, ingredients, infrastructure and logistics, IT and hardware, food safety and technology, retail and restaurants, and consumer brands.
S2G Ventures is a part of Builders Private Capital, the direct investment arm of Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to building a humane and healthy planet.