MycoTechnology, which transforms mycelia into functional ingredients like alternate protein, announced this week that it has raised a $39 million Series D round of funding. Food Navigator first reported the news and wrote that the round was co-led by Greenleaf Foods, SPC, S2G Ventures and Evolution Partners, with Tyson Ventures, Kellogg’s Eighteen94 Capital, and others participating. This brings the total amount raised by MycoTechnology to $121 million.
MycoTechnology’s mushroom fermentation platform is used to create a number of mycelia-based products. The company’s ClearTaste promises to act “as a shield for your tongue temporarily blocking bitter tastes from being perceived.” And its PureTaste is an alternative protein source derived from shiitake mushrooms.
Of note in MycoTechnology’s investor list are Tyson and Kellogg, two big names in BIG FOOD. Tyson was already an existing investor in MycoTechnology, but participation from both household names futher illustrates how alternative protein is catching on with the traditional food companies.
Mushrooms as a vehicle for alternative proteins are totally hot right now. Ecovative is using mycelium to give plant-based meats better texture. Prime Roots uses fermented myco-protein to make things like fake bacon (fakon?). And Emergy Foods is making whole cuts of “meat” out of fermented fungi.
As we’ve written before, there are a lot of benefits to this fungi-forward approach to creating alternate proteins. In addition to its ability to recreate meat, it has the same protein profile of traditional meat. Fungi also has fiber, which animal-based meat does not have.
MycoTechnology’s funding comes at a good time as sales of plant-based products are skyrocketing (we know, mushrooms are fungi, not plants, but you get what we’re saying). Plant-based meat sales, in particular during this pandemic have surged as well.
With all this interest and the flexibility of fungi, we’ll probably be seeing more money flow into mycelia this year.