Chickpea protein is bulking up. Today Israel-based company InnovoPro announced it had raised a $15 million funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners with participation from CPT Capital. This brings the total amount raised by the company to just under $20 million.
InnovoPro makes a chickpea-based protein powder for B2B use. Called CP-Pro 70, the powder is 70 percent chickpea protein (chickpeas naturally have about 20 percent protein). It’s also non-GMO and has the added appeal of being free from common allergies like soy, dairy and gluten. The company claims that CP-Pro 70 has a neutral taste and is versatile enough to be used to make a variety of hot and cold vegan products, from ice cream to burgers to mayonnaise.
So far, products using CP-Pro 70 have launched in Israel, Europe, and the U.S. Innovopro is also developing an organic version of CP-Pro 70 as well as a Chickpea Starch product.
InnovoPro isn’t the only chickpea protein peddler on the block. Last year ChickP, also based in Israel, unveiled a 90 percent chickpea-based protein intended to go into dairy alternatives like milk and yogurt. In the U.S., Nutriati and ProEarth are both making chickpea powder for a variety of food and bev use cases.
It’s no wonder that chickpeas are having a bit of a moment in the alt-protein space. Most raw ingredients for plant-based meat and dairy — soy, wheat, and nuts — are major allergens. Chickpeas and pea protein, however, are not. They’re also cheap, plentiful, and a familiar product for consumers who might shy away from edgier ingredients, like air protein or grasshoppers.
InnovoPro will use its new funds to expand its B2B partners. We’ll see if it can establish a firm foothold in the alternative protein market before the other chickpea companies edge them out.