Upcycling ingredients maker Comet Bio raises US$22m to expand manufacturing capabilities

UK – Comet Bio, a UK-based upcycled food ingredients maker, has raised US$22 million in a Series C funding round led by Effingham-based private equity management fund Open Prairie. 

Other investors including Louis Dreyfus Co., BDC Capital, and Sofinnova Partners participated in the round aimed at expanding Comet Bio’s manufacturing capabilities. 

Comet Bio uses its patented upcycling technology to produce ingredients from crops’ residue left in the field, including straw, leaves and shells, and food leftovers. 

One of the company’s upcycled ingredients, Arrabina has been clinically proven to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

The product, sourced from arabinoxylan plant fiber extract, is also reported to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels and support immunity. 

Meanwhile, the company’s line of Sweeterra syrups is a sustainable and lower sugar alternative to traditional sweeteners with no trade-offs in taste and performance, according to the company. 

Rich Troyer, chief executive officer of Comet Bio, noted that the company has seen firsthand the growing consumer demand for ingredients that address gut health and sugar reduction. 

Troyer’s statements are collaborated by a recent report by Food Dive which noted that products designed to enrich digestive health are extending well beyond the yogurt aisle.   

According to the report, probiotic products have appeared in fruit juice, pet food, and gluten-free brownies.  

This extension beyond the yogurt aisle is arguably the biggest driver of growth in demand for probiotic ingredients such as the ones provided by Comet Bio. 

“Thanks to the support of our exceptional investors, we will now be able to invest in a dedicated manufacturing facility to grow the supply of our upcycled ingredients,” said Rich Troyer, chief executive officer of Comet Bio, which has headquarters in London, Ont., and Schaumburg, Ill.  

“These strategic investor partnerships will enable us to meet this significant market opportunity and take Comet Bio to the next level,” he added. 

With sustainability becoming key for many food manufacturers, upcycling has become a viable strategy for managing food waste.  Troyer even confessed that every single food company that Comet Bio was talking to is looking to reduce food system waste.  

Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch said it is investing US$100 million to expand the production capacity of its subsidiary that takes barley after it is used to make beer and repurposes it to be incorporated into food and other beverages. 

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