Investment round enables biotech pioneer to begin commercialising its zero-waste process for creating sustainable protein from renewable resources
Glasgow, 4th April 2018 – 3F BIO Ltd, a Scottish biotech company whose purpose is to tackle the combined issues of feeding a growing global population and the unsustainable impact of traditional protein farming, has confirmed a £6.16M Series A financing round that will be used to scale up and commercialise its zero-waste process.
The funding provides strong support and validation for 3F BIO’s technology, which transforms cereal crops such as wheat or maize into high-quality protein (ABUNDA®) with 3-15 times better conversion efficiency than traditional protein sources such as meat from farm animals. This investment round will enable 3F BIO to progress its technology to industrial scale and expand its scope to compete in the global protein market, which is estimated at over 350M tonnes or > $1 trillion per year.
3F BIO’s business model is to work collaboratively, supplying a B2B ingredient to a wide range of potential partners to access the full extent of the growing global market for protein. The company’s vision is to produce 1M tonnes of protein by 2030.
The investment was supported by existing investors including:
- The University of Strathclyde;
- Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise,
- Private investors including Nick Elmslie, the former CEO of BP’s Global Petrochemicals business;
- The EOS Technology Investment Syndicate;
- Data Collective (DCVC), a US based venture capital fund; and
- members of the 3F BIO management team
Jim Laird, CEO at 3F BIO said, “We are delighted by the continuing and increased support from investors. The scale of the protein market continues to grow at a pace that cannot be met solely by protein from livestock. We are excited by the opportunities that are created by the transformational resource efficiency in making ABUNDA® mycoprotein. This support from investors will let us accelerate development and commercial activities.”
Dr David McBeth, Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange Services at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde is delighted to participate in this funding round for 3F BIO. Support for, and partnership with, business and industry is central to the University’s mission and 3F BIO is perfectly aligned with our ‘Advanced Manufacturing’ strategic theme. We are strongly committed to enhancing economic and societal impact through the spin-out and start-up companies created here.”
Kevin Grainger, founder and gatekeeper at EOS said: “EOS is delighted to support the journey of 3F BIO. We were initially attracted to 3F BIO by the impressive and experienced management team and board and are excited by the progress to date of an exciting technology and global market opportunity.”
Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Scottish Enterprise has supported 3F BIO since its early stages via SMART, and through our High Growth Ventures unit. We are pleased to continue to support an ambitious, fast-growing Scottish company and we look forward to working closely with 3F BIO as it continues to innovate to help it realise its growth potential.”
Notes to editors
3F BIO is a biotech company founded in 2015 that harnesses the production efficiency of natural processes to create high quality protein. In nature, the smaller the organism, the more rapid and more efficient the protein development, and 3F BIO looked beyond the production of protein for human consumption by farming large animals to a method that produces protein so efficiently that you get more out than you put in.
The EOS Technology Investment Syndicate is a St. Andrews-based angel network which invests in early stage, IP-rich, science and technology businesses which have the potential for global growth. EOS is a Scottish Investment Bank co-investment partner.
Data Collective (DCVC) is a venture capital fund that backs entrepreneurs to transform giant industries. DCVC’s strong network, operational experience and technical background delivers unique value to entrepreneurs.
The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. Its commitment to useful learning guides its research, learning and teaching – and the way it works with businesses and organisations. In the Times Higher Education Awards, Strathclyde won Business School of the Year in 2016, Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2013, UK University of the Year in 2012 and Research Project of the Year in 2011.
The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s life sciences fund and is a participant in the Scottish European Growth Co-Investment Programme funded by the Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund. SIB provides a team of Financial Readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance. SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital.
Kergan Stewart LLP acted for 3F BIO, and Shepherd & Wedderburn LLP acted for Scottish Investment Bank and the University of Strathclyde.