USA – Nature’s Fynd, a Chicago-based food tech company making a new-to-the-world protein from a microbe originally discovered in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone’s ancient volcano, has raised US$80 million in a Series B funding round.

The investment round was co-led by Generation Investment Management and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and will enable to Nature’s Fynd commercialize its food and beverage products across breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack occasions.

The company emerged out of NASA supported research into organisms that thrive in the extreme environmental conditions of Yellowstone National Park’s geothermal springs. The springs are part of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. 

Nature’s Fynd started production in March this year at its new 35,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located in Chicago, USA.

Nature’s Fynd, previously named Sustainable Bioproducts, uses a revolutionary fermentation technology to grow protein using a fraction of the land and water resources required by traditional agriculture. 

According to company, its product contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it one of the rare non-animal sources of complete protein. Nature’s Fynd’s products also contain dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamins.

The food tech company says the revolutionary technology has enabled the company to sustainably produce very versatile products that can be made into alternative meat and dairy products, as well as protein drinks and powders. 

“In these challenging times, securing food for our growing population under the immense pressure of climate change becomes even more urgent,” said CEO and co-founder Thomas Jonas.

“We must find new solutions that can both nourish people and nurture the planet. Our innovative technology was developed by studying nature’s own solutions for adapting — and ultimately thriving — in environments with limited resources.”

“Nature’s Fynd has a highly efficient solution to help address the climate crisis,” said Lila Preston, co-head of the Growth Equity strategy at Generation Investment Management.

“We have tracked the team and technology for several years and believe this is one of the most scalable platforms to drive true food system sustainability.”

Nature’s Fynd currently employs 50 people across its Chicago headquarters and its Bozeman, Montana, R&D center. The company now plans to employ more than 100 people by the end of the year.

ADM Ventures, the venture arm of ADM, Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of global food and beverage company Danone, 1955 Capital and Mousse Partners also participated in the funding round.

Danone and ADM also backed the company’s US$33 million funding round that it closed in February 2019.