The company formerly known as Motif Ingredients today announced that it has raised $27.5 million in new funding and rebranded itself as Motif FoodWorks. The new funding was led by General Atlantic with participation from CPT Capital, and follows a $90 million Series A that Motif raised when it launched in February of this year.
Motif is carving out an interesting space for itself in the food tech world as they are in the business of helping other companies develop new alternative meat, dairy and egg products. Smaller startups that don’t have an R&D budget as big as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods can enlist Motif as a more affordable alternative for creating alternative foods. As my colleague Catherine Lamb wrote about Motif earlier this year:
Motif will use engineered microbes (like yeast) to “brew” food proteins that can mimic the same ones that give animal products their unique taste and texture. The resulting ingredients can be used to make everything from regular ol’ cow milk and chicken meat to more unique offerings, like sturgeon eggs and camel milk.
Because of its approach and its unique business model, we named Motif to our Food Tech 25: Twenty Five Companies Creating the Future of Food in 2019 earlier this summer.
We spoke with Jon McIntyre, CEO of Motif, a few months ago, who said that they’re in conversations to develop new ingredients with over twenty companies of various sizes.
Motif is certainly striking while the iron is hot. Demand for alternative proteins like plant-based burgers is growing, as the success of Beyond Meat’s going public and the nationwide rollout of the Impossible Whopper have illustrated. In its press announcement, Motif said it will use the new money to “add to and accelerate its product pipeline; expand academic collaborations across a broad set of molecular food science disciplines; scale its science and regulatory staff; and deepen its research and development efforts.”
As for the name change, Motif said the re-branding better recognizes its technology partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, the Boston-based biotech company from which it spun out.