NOTTINGHAM, England, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Deep Branch, a carbon dioxide recycling company, today announced it has completed an €8M Series A investment round. The investment complements a combined €4M in non-dilutive funding secured from UK and EU grant-funded projects scheduled from Q4 2020 to Q1 2023. Novo Holdings and DSM Venturing led the round, with participation from Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital. Johan Hueffer, Senior Partner at Novo Holdings, and Rob Beudeker, Investment Director at DSM Venturing, will join Deep Branch’s Board of Directors. Lars Topholm, Head of Research at Carnegie Investment Bank in Denmark and non-executive Board member of Deep Branch since 2019, has been elected Chair of the Board.
Deep Branch addresses both the sustainability of animal farming and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions with their CO2-to-protein technology, creating the first scalable path for a truly sustainable protein generation process from a waste product. Their revolutionary ingredient, Proton™, is not just a more environmentally friendly feed ingredient, but will also provide a regular supply of a price-stable, price-competitive, and nutritionally optimal bulk protein.
“A key objective of the Novo Holdings strategy is to grow our investment in biotechnology companies that can demonstrate scalability and long-term value generation,” says Johan Hueffer, Senior Partner at Novo Holdings. “Decarbonisation is fundamental to reaching net-zero emissions targets, and Deep Branch is positioned to be a leading technology as demand for innovative solutions increases.”
Pieter Wolters, Managing Director of DSM Venturing, echoes these words: “Protein is vital for good health yet producing it is one of the largest greenhouse gas contributors. At DSM we’re applying our scientific know-how to feed the world more sustainably, such as reducing the carbon footprint of animal farming and creating alternatives to wild caught fish for feed. Deep Branch has potentially transformational technology and we’re excited to become an investor.”
The Series A financing will enable the completion of Deep Branch’s Scale-Up Hub at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus (Limburg, NL), producing the first pilot-scale batches of Proton™ for full nutritional validation with Europe’s leading feed producers, including BioMar and AB Agri. It will also enable the company to inform key engineering design work for its first commercial scale production facility.
Cindi Choi, Managing Director at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, says: “Having first met the Deep Branch team two years ago, it is impressive to see the progression from the first proof of concept to fine-tuning the right recipes for Proton™ with key partners in the feed industry. Deep Branch is now putting the building blocks in place needed to accelerate the scaling of production and we’re thrilled to help fuel their momentum. Their innovation could be instrumental to decarbonize the agri-food industry, which accounts today for close to a 1/4th of global greenhouse gases emissions annually.”
James Ferrier, Director, Principal Investments at Barclays, adds: “Deep Branch’s technology has the potential to be part of the solution to overcome the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Their carbon friendly approach to sustainable food production will support the transition to a low-carbon economy and we are excited to be part of the next stage of their growth.”
This investment round builds on an exceptional year for Deep Branch, including a recent highlight by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s most impactful, commercially viable scale-ups as part of The Circulars Accelerator. “The financial support and extensive expertise this investment round brings us will accelerate the execution of our vision. It reflects our heavy emphasis on collaboration, complementing our existing partnerships by bringing in new aspects of the value chain, including hydrogen, scaling bioprocesses, and commercial finance,” says Peter Rowe, CEO of Deep Branch. “We regard our technology as a platform that we will leverage to address new markets with Proton™, as well as expanding our product line to more CO2-based products.”
Rowe has a targeted view on what it takes to take Deep Branch to market. “We are concluding a mapping exercise to determine the optimal location for our first Proton™ commercial production facility. Norway’s world-leading position in both the salmon industry and production of low-carbon hydrogen make it ideal from an offtake and input perspective, putting it high on our list. To meet our goal of commercial production by 2023, we have already begun engaging the necessary partners to make this a reality.”
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About Deep Branch
Deep Branch is a carbon dioxide recycling company that uses microorganisms to convert CO2 into high-quality products. Founded in 2018, the company is a fast-growing startup operating in both the UK and the Netherlands. Proton™ is Deep Branch’s first product. Deep Branch received funding from Innovate UK, Municipality of Rotterdam, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101010113. Deep Branch has also been selected to participate in Scotland’s Countdown to COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference and the 2021 Circulars Accelerator in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. For more information, visit: www.deepbranch.com
About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information: www.novoholdings.dk
About DSM Venturing
DSM Venturing is the corporate venturing arm of Royal DSM, a global, purpose-led, science-based company active in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. DSM’s purpose is to create brighter lives for all. DSM addresses with its products and solutions some of the world’s biggest challenges while simultaneously creating economic, environmental and societal value for all its stakeholders – customers, employees, shareholders, and society at large. DSM delivers innovative solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company was founded in 1902 and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information can be found at www.dsm.com
About Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures
Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures is the venture capital arm of Total. As part of Total’s commitment to a better energy future, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures is focused on finding, funding and fostering high-potential start-ups that contribute to creating a low carbon future. Current investment focus areas include Renewables, Distributed Energy, New Mobility, Energy Access, Energy Storage, Bioplastics, Circular Economy and Recycling. https://www.ventures.total/en
About Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital initiative
As part of its broader commitments, Barclays will invest £175m of its own capital, led by the Principal Investments team, in fast-growing, innovative, environmentally-focused companies whose values are aligned with those of Barclays and which target the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. Investments will be strategic to Barclays, its clients and the communities it serves, with clear scalable propositions that deliver both environmental benefits and economic returns.