Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Here Come "Collagen-ingredients-as-a-service" (plus big names in a big round for Chinese e-grocery)

Sadly, the FT beat me to "Service-as-a-Service" some time ago or I could roll with that for a few posts.
However, we do have this from AgFunder, July 27:

Geltor brews up $91.3m Series B to offer collagen ingredients-as-a-service model
The vast majority of the world’s collagen supply comes from pigs. But with African Swine Flu ravaging the pork industry, and a global pandemic folded into the mix early this year, wreaking havoc on meat supply chains, alternative sources are becoming increasingly appealing for companies that rely on the ingredient. So says Geltor co-founder and CEO Alex Lorestani in the wake of announcing a $91.3 million Series B financing.

“At the end of last year, we were excited to see a lot of our customers who we were selling our off-the-shelf products to come back and ask us what else we could make for them through our fermentation process,” Alex Lorestani, Geltor co-founder and CEO, told AFN. “We started talking to investors, it was the middle of ASF. Fast forward a few months in term sheet negotiations and the next public health threat crystalized for a lot of folks how important it is from a business and human perspective to find a way to stabilize our protein supply.”

Geltor raised the funding to help expand its new ingredients-as-a-service platform. The round was led by alt-protein-focused investor CPT Capital, with a significant commitment from Taiwanese family office WTT Investment. The new funds will be used to build out the Geltor team and to assist more customers. Lorestani describes the startup as asset-light, primarily consisting of technological processes instead of extensive manufacturing facilities.

“With CPT, what we think we are doing is ultimately putting them in a position to be the number one alternative protein investor in the world. WTT are big shareholders in Beyond Meat and an early backer there, as well.”

Most collagen on the market today is produced from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals through a chemical extraction process that can take several months. Geltor’s process of designing and manufacturing collagen does not involve animals at all. 

Established in 2015, the San Leandro-based startup has provided collagen to the personal care and cosmetics industries. Its first product line is an award-winning skincare ingredient, N-Collage. It uses computational biology via proprietary algorithms to identify the ideal protein in nature with the best properties for certain applications. It then designs a microbe that efficiently turns plant-based sugars into that protein through a microbial fermentation process. These collagen products can be bio-designed for strength, firmness, and flexibility that you might not get with “low-grade” animal waste-based products, according to Geltor....MORE
Yeah, just marking time til the Fed meeting concludes. Here's another story from AgFunder, July 23:
Tencent, Goldman Sachs pump $495m into Chinese e-grocer MissFresh