Leaf-derived protein producer, Leaft Foods, has announced that it has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round.
Founded in 2019, the New Zealand company has developed a way of extracting RuBisCo (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase) from leaves.
Every plant uses RuBisCo as part of its photosynthesis process, “making it the most plentiful protein on earth,” according to Leaft Foods.
The company’s Series A round was backed by Khosla Ventures, professional basketball player Steven Adams, New Zealand indigenous investor Ngāi Tahu and sovereign health provider ACC.
Leaft Foods will use the new funds to support R&D, accelerate its growth, and create a global value chain starting with the US.
“Nature’s biggest animals – elephants, buffalo and cattle – are all herbivores who have evolved to digest protein in leaves, especially with the latter two having multiple stomachs,” said Leaft co-founder, John Penno.
“But while it’s trapped inside a plant cell, it’s hard for humans to eat enough leaves for a sufficient serving of protein, let alone digest all of that plant matter. Our technology forges a new way to tap plant protein that is tasty, nutritious, scalable and accessible for everyone. It’s truly transformational.”
The protein produced by Leaft is said to have a similar amino acid profile to beef and offers the “same” digestibility as animal protein.
“At Khosla, we are all about investing in technologies that are bold and impactful,” said Alice Brooks of Khosla Ventures. “We are excited to be an early investor in Leaft and to work together with the team as they bring in a new era of agriculture and a shift in the way sustainable food is produced at scale.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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