Nature’s Fynd raises $350m in Series C to build nutritional fungi protein platform, gears up for late 2021 launch

The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and joined by new investors including Blackstone Strategic Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Hillhouse Investment, EDBI, SK Inc. and Hongkou with continued support from existing investors, said CEO Thomas Jonas.

 “In the past year, we showed that we can grow Fy​ [a protein-packed fungi ingredient from a naturally-occurring micro-organism – Fusarium strain flavolapis – with origins in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park] at commercial scale leveraging robotics and automation in our new state-of-the-art facility in Chicago’s historic Union Stockyard.

​“In 2022, we will bring our branded Fy based foods to consumers in the US, expand to new geographies with a special focus on Asia where there is substantial demand and need for sustainable protein and create multiple brand-aligned partnerships for retail, quick serve restaurants, and emerging high growth channels.”

Meatless breakfast patties, dairy-free cream cheese

Part of a third wave of ingredients in the ‘alternative protein’ space that is not plant-based or cell-cultured, but made via microbial fermentation, Nature’s Fynd​​​​ is not, however, using genetic engineering (eg. synthetic biology to ‘program’ microbes to produce target molecules).

Instead, it is working with Non GMO fungi strains that naturally produce high levels of complete protein when grown in a controlled environment. Rather than extracting the protein to make a concentrate or isolate, Nature’s Fynd is producing a whole food ingredient, said the company, which recently tested the market with a limited edition launch of meatless​​ breakfast patties​​​ and dairy-free cream cheese​​​.

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