Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Edonia Raises €2M to Redefine Plant-Based Alternatives with Umami-Powered Ingredients from Microalgae

Edonia, a French startup unlocking the potential of microalgae to create protein ingredients for plant-based foods, has raised €2 million in a pre-seed financing round led by France’s leading impact seed fund, Asterion Ventures, with participation from Bpifrance.

With the new capital, the Paris-based startup will expand its technical and business teams and transition to the scale-up phase. In addition, it will gear up to launch its first product: a texturized ingredient for plant-based meat that is said to offer a meat-like texture, grilled umami flavor profile, plus 30% protein, naturally and without additives.

Edonia shared: “We are proud to complete this pre-seed financing round with Asterion Ventures, France’s leading impact seed fund. Thanks to the financial support from Bpifrance, which complements this equity round, we are perfectly positioned to execute the next steps of our roadmap.” 

Edonia, a French startup unlocking the potential of microalgae to create protein ingredients for plant-based foods, has raised €2 million.
© Edonia

“Edonisation” for optimal taste

Pierre Mignon (COO), Hugo Valentin (CEO), and Nicolas Irlinger (CTO), a team of microalgae enthusiasts and innovators from AgroParisTech Innovation at the University of Paris-Saclay’s Agro campus, founded Edonia in 2023 to redefine the future of plant-based alternatives with clean-label ingredients. 

Edonia’s team has established what it describes as a game-changing process called “Edonisation,” which transforms microalgae biomass into a brown and umami-flavored ingredient, solving the challenge of the “algal” taste that discourages consumers. In addition, the resulting ingredient is said to be a clean label, protein and nutrient-rich,  and as shown by a life cycle assessment, more sustainable than ground meat and textured soy products.

The company plans to launch in Europe first and then expand to other continents through strategic partnerships, reported EU Startups. Since the ingredients come from spirulina and chlorella sources, which are not considered novel foods, the startup can bring its products to market more quickly. 

chlorella under microscope
Chlorella under microscope ©

Other companies using spirulina to develop meat and fish alternatives include the Israeli company SimpliiGood and New Zealand’s NewFishGreenCoLab from Portugal recently unveiled microalgae-based caviar and beer.

Meanwhile, researchers from the UK are developing protein ingredients from microalgae with improved flavor, while in Denmark, scientists have found a way to make protein using cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).

Edonia states on its website, “It is time to explore more diverse sources of protein. It is time for a new generation of cleaner, multi-functional ingredients.”

The French startup was part of EIT Food Seedbed Incubator, 2023 Cohort, and it is “Deeptech” certified by the French Public Investment Bank (BPI).

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