V-Bio Ventures portfolio company Protealis secures EUR 22 million in oversubscribed B round funding to propel sustainable plant protein seed solutions

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Protealis, a leading innovator in seed solutions for sustainable plant proteins based in Ghent, Belgium, proudly announced today the successful completion of its B-Round funding, raising a substantial EUR 22 million.

Ghent, 23 January 2024 – Protealis, a leading innovator in seed solutions for sustainable plant proteins based in Ghent, Belgium, proudly announced today the successful completion of its B-Round funding, raising a substantial EUR 22 million. Existing investors overwhelmingly reconfirmed their support for the company’s mission in an oversubscribed funding round, defying today’s challenging investment climate. The proceeds from the B-Round funding will be instrumental in fueling Protealis’ continued commercial development and expansion in key European markets while growing its crop product portfolio and supporting technology platforms. These include high-tech innovations such as crop performance prediction based on a combination of AI and genetic fingerprinting to accelerate the introduction of new and better protein crop varieties to the market. The Series B capital round implies a significant milestone for the company to continue its mission to sustainably transform the agricultural landscape.

Protealis focuses on pioneering sustainable solutions for European farmers, addressing the growing demand for plant-based protein sources. The company’s proprietary seed and seed breeding technology platforms not only enhance crop and protein level yields but also minimize the ecological impact of agriculture. By focusing on locally adapted legume crops that don’t require any additional mineral nitrogen fertilizers, Protealis aims to strengthen regional food systems and bring novel opportunities to farmers, while contributing to global sustainability goals.

David Buckeridge, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Protealis, commented: “Successfully securing over 22 million euros from our investors, in today’s challenging investment market, shows that the rationale for Protealis and its mission for sustainable and high performance legume crops as an essential part of our future agriculture, is even bigger today than at our foundation. Looking at the rapid evolution of trends such as Regenerative Agriculture, there is no doubt that these systems in Europe will require significantly larger areas of legumes to be grown. This demands we breed for much higher field performance than is available for farmers today.  Protealis is leading the industry in this area.”

In the past year, Protealis achieved significant milestones, including the successful launch of two proprietary soy seed varieties for colder European climates. The company also established a new speed breeding facility, now operational for over a year, to shorten the traditional breeding cycle by several years, and implemented a genomic mating platform to predict plant traits, enhance disease resistance and introduce new plant protein varieties. Positive yield trial results with yellow pea, the company’s upcoming legume crop and already a popular plant protein source for many food processors, further demonstrate Protealis’ commitment to keep innovating towards more sustainable agriculture. 

Benjamin Laga, CEO of Protealis, continued: “These positive results have resonated with investors within and outside of Protealis, positioning our company as a leader in the rapidly evolving landscape of plant-based protein solutions. With this funding, we are well-positioned to accelerate our commercial efforts and expand our footprint in the European market, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.”

The Series B fundraising was fully backed by the existing investor base, composed of V-Bio Ventures (BE), PMV (BE), VIB (BE), ILVO (BE), Agri Investment Fund (BE), Innovation Industries (NL), Korys Investments (BE), HFT Holding (NL), Thia Ventures (SG/BE), Gemma Frisius Fund  (BE), Globachem Group (BE) and Estari Group (UK), underlining a solid trust in Protealis’ mission.

Protealis was launched as a spin-off from VIB and ILVO in April 2021 with EUR 6.0M VC funds, backed by an additional EUR 5.7M raised in its extended Series A round announced on 2 September 2021.

About Protealis

Protealis develops superior plant protein seeds and seed technologies, optimized for the European environment. Being at the forefront of sustainable agriculture, Protealis aims to empower European farmers with sustainable and resilient alternatives to traditional protein sources by developing superior legume seed solutions that enhance a farmers’ crop yield and protein levels, while minimizing the ecological footprint. By addressing the growing demand for more plant-based protein sources, the company is committed to contribute to more sustainable food systems. Today, Protealis is a commercial-stage company with two early maturity soy varieties on the market and is located in the biotechnology cluster in Ghent, Belgium. More info on www.protealis.com, LinkedIn or facebook.

About V-Bio Ventures

V-Bio Ventures is an independent venture capital firm specialized in building and financing young, innovative life sciences companies. V-Bio Ventures was established in 2015 and works closely with Belgium-based VIB, one of the world’s premier life science institutes. The fund invests throughout Europe in start-up and early-stage companies with high growth potential focusing on technologies that provide transformational improvements in the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and agricultural sectors. https://v-bio.ventures