Microalgae are everywhere, it seems. It is used as a way to replace fossil fuels and is used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and as a food source. This is a huge market, as well as expected worth $25.4 billion by 2033.
Brevel, a Tel Aviv-based company, is developing microalgae into alternative proteins and today announced $18.5 million in seed funding.
Founded in 2016 by three brothers, Yonatan Golan, Matan Golan and Ido Golan, Brevel develops a proprietary technology that combines fermentation and light to make protein from microalgae that is sold to food companies as a powder for use in plant-based products.
The company claims the protein is “the most sustainable on earth” and can be considered a “ghost protein” because it does not affect the taste, color or taste of food and therefore can be used in a wide range of food applications.
In addition, the method helps the company achieve cost parity with plant proteins such as pea and soy because it can produce co-products alongside proteins, including lipids and functional pigments, according to the company.
For its part, Brevel will leverage the new funding to continue developing its protein. The company is initially targeting the dairy alternative sector and is currently operating a 500 liter pilot in Israel and will move to a commercial scale plant with a 5,000 liter fermentation capacity and a light system.
Beyond that, the company is preparing to build an even larger facility with a total capacity of 900,000 liters, planned for 2025.
Brevels recently signed an agreement with Vgarden, a plant-based cheese company, which will be the first to incorporate Brevel protein into plant-based cheeses. The first products are expected to be on shelves in 2024.
NevaTeam Partners led the initial round, including $8.4 million raised in June 2022 that was converted from grants and convertible loans into stock. The remaining $10.1 million was recently raised.
The investment is supported by the European Union’s EIC Fund, other food and climate funds, and strategic food industry partners. As part of the investment, Shai Levy, managing partner at NevaTeam Partners, joins Brevel’s board of directors.