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Synthetic Biology Technology

Geltor raises $91.3m to expand animal-free protein platform

Geltor CEO Alexander Lorestani

US-based biodesign company Geltor has announced the closing of a $91.3 million Series B financing that will fuel the global expansion of its ‘Ingredients-as-a-Service’ platform.

The funding round aims to meet accelerating demand from global consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies for sustainable, functional, and 100% animal-free ingredients. The round was led by future protein pioneer CPT Capital (London, UK), with significant commitment from WTT Investment (Taipei, Taiwan).

Since being established in 2015, the California-based firm said in a statement that it has proven its biodesign technology for large and growing global CPG segments including cosmetics and personal care, nutraceuticals, and the food & beverage industries.

Geltor (@GeltorInc) added: “Its success across global CPG segments reflects consumers’ increasing preference for ethical products, as more brands face backlash for using animal ingredients and contributing to the growing threat of climate change.”

Over the past year, global demand for collagen grew by 25% and Geltor saw sales surge for its first products, animal-free collagens like HumaColl21 and Collume.

Despite Covid-19 disrupting industrial supply chains, Geltor said that it was able to scale its fermentation-based technology platform up “100X” and produced hundreds of new proteins to help customers seamlessly turn an idea into a highly effective ingredient quickly and with minimal risk.

“Our goal is to make it ridiculously easy for iconic brands to build sustainable products. This next stage of growth will allow Geltor to meet the moment our world is facing, as businesses recognize the urgent need to transition to a sustainable protein supply chain,” said Geltor CEO and co-founder Alex Lorestani.

He added: “We’re grateful to have investors who see Geltor as an index of this important shift to a system powered by fermentation and plant-based platforms like ours. As a scientist, I’m convinced that the highest-impact action I can take to support human and planetary health is making our Ingredients-as-a-Service platform better every single day.”

“Having established the success of our biodesign platform, we are now able to work even more closely with customers to develop unique tailored bioactive ingredients for their specific product needs. We’ve only scratched the surface of what our technology can unlock for our clients at unprecedented speed,” added Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Nick Ouzounov.

Chief Financial Officer Sachin Kelkar said: “Since its founding, Geltor has focused on developing an industrial strength Ingredients-as-a-Service platform based on the fundamental principles of functionality, breadth, scale, and speed to meet the pace of customer innovation in multiple end markets.

“We’re excited to leverage our strong balance sheet and investor base to scale business and manufacturing operations around the core platform to meet global protein demands for decades to come.”

The lead investment by long-standing alternative protein investor CPT Capital validates Geltor’s unique approach to developing tailored bioactive ingredients, and the vastness of the market opportunity. “We see huge market potential for Geltor’s protein platform across categories from cosmetics to food. We are excited by the speed and skill with which they are building out their capabilities. Even more so, in light of the havoc wreaked by covid-19 on protein supply chains globally, we believe Geltor is laying the foundations for the sustainable, resilient, protein supply chain of the future,” said Costa Yiannoulis, CPT Capital Investment Director and Geltor Board Director.

Returning investors in this financing include Cultivian Sandbox, SOSV, and iSelect Fund, along with the investment arms of global ingredient technology companies GELITA and Archer Daniels Midland. New investors include Blue Horizon Ventures, RIT Capital Partners, Humboldt Fund, and Pegasus Tech Ventures. The Series B brings the total funding raised for Geltor to $116.3m to date.

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