Deep Branch, which calls itself “a carbon dioxide recycling company,” announced today that it has completed a Series A investment round of €8 million (~$9.5 million USD). The round was led by Novo Holdings and DSM Venturing and also included participation from Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital.
The funding will go towards completing Deep Branch’s Scale-Up Hub, a production facility at the Brightlands Chemlot Campus in the Netherlands where the company will make the first pilot-scale batches of its Proton product.
Proton is Deep Branch’s alternative protein ingredient for animal feed, and a product that aims to help make the animal farming industry more sustainable. Via a gas fermentation process, the company turns CO2 into a protein ingredient that Deep Branch says is comparable in nutritional profile to fishmeal, which is a standard in the animal feed industry. It is also, the company says, cost-competitive with other types of animal feed on the market.
Batches of Proton will first be validated nutritionally with Europe’s leading feed producers BioMar (a large aquafeed producer) and AB Agri (a poultry feed producer).
The new funding will also go towards designing the UK-headquartered company’s first commercial-scale production facility. For now, Deep Branch is focused on finding the right location for that facility, with Norway a top contender. The goal is for the company to reach commercial production of Proton by 2023.
Creating protein ingredients via gas fermentation is small-but-growing space that also includes Air Protein, Solar Foods, and NovoNutrients. Like Deep Branch, NovoNutrients also makes alternative animal feed by turning industrial CO2 waste into protein.
Deep Branch has also in the past received funding from Innovate UK, Municipality of Rotterdam, and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research program.