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Gingko Bioworks spin-out firm Motif Ingredients rebrands and raises $27.5m to boost animal-free ingredients R&D.

“Since launching the company we’ve seen an incredible response from the industry, it’s clear that the movement towards animal-free is no passing fad.”

Motif Ingredients, a spin-out company from biotechnology firm Gingko Bioworks, has announced that it has received $27.5 million in funding to press ahead with its animal-free ingredients research and development. The company has also revealed a new brand identity and name – Motif FoodWorks.

The funding was led by global growth equity firm General Atlantic, with participation from CPT Capital, Motif said in a statement.

According to Motif, it is pioneering the discovery of better ingredients that improve human health and animal welfare while reducing the environmental impact of animal agriculture. With the new funding, Motif plans to add to and accelerate its product pipeline, expand academic collaborations across a broad set of molecular food science disciplines, among other things.

“Since launching the company we’ve seen an incredible response from the industry, it’s clear that the movement towards animal-free is no passing fad,” Jon McIntyre, CEO of Motif (@proteinmotif). “Food leaders know that to get it right, however, there can be no compromise between taste and values.”

He added: “Our team of experienced scientists and passionate food lovers are working relentlessly to ensure our products – as well as our brand – deliver on that exciting and critical challenge.”

According to the company, Motif FoodWorks’ new brand better reflects the firm’s “unique value proposition, broad appeal and deep roots in the food industry”.

The new name also recognises its technology partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, Motif said, as it powers “Motif’s ambition to reshape the landscape of food through science and technology”.

As well as receiving funding and new name, Motif has also announced a number of additions to its leadership team.

Janet Collins joins as Head of Regulatory, Government and Industry Affairs, Julie Post-Smith as Director of Business Development and Morgan Keim as Business Development Manager.

The rebrand and investment in Motif comes at a time when global consumer demand for plant-based meat and dairy is growing. According to recent media reports, Swiss investment firm UBS projects growth of plant-based protein and meat alternatives to increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $85 billion in 2030. The Swiss company said that estimate could be a conservative one if innovation and consumer awareness drive more consumption.

Looking ahead, McIntyre concluded: “The momentum at Motif is palpable, and we have an exciting road ahead. Powered with funds, technology and a team of incredibly talented food-lovers, we are moving closer to our mission to develop animal-free and plant-based ingredients that are more nutritious, more accessible and more sustainable for our planet.”


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