Onego Bio Ltd has raised €10 million in seed funding to commercialize its breakthrough technology to produce egg white without chickens. The cellular agriculture startup is the latest spin-off from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and offers a vegan alternative to one of the world’s most used animal proteins.
“They have the potential to produce bioalbumen at an industrial scale and at a price point that is competitive with conventional egg production” – Jim Mellon, Agronomics
The Finnish biotech Onego Bio has developed bioalbumen – an animal-free egg protein, using commercially proven Trichoderma technology. The vegan egg white is produced with a specific precision fermentation process that creates identical egg white protein without the need for animals.
The startup announces the successful closure of the €10 million seed round with participation from venture capital funds including billionaire investor Jim Mellon’s Agronomics. The UK-based VC recently raised a fresh £25 million for its expanding cellular agriculture and cultivated meat portfolio.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Onego Bio’s bioalbumen technology was developed and researched at VTT, one of Europe’s leading research institutions and owned by the Finnish state. The project has been part of VTT LaunchPad, the science-based spin-off incubator, while other sustainable food solutions coming through the centre include cell-cultured coffee and a partnership with Finnish dairy company Valio.
“We want to thank VTT and our investors for supporting a technology that is part of a bigger wave of changing people’s perspective on alternative ways of producing food. The time is right to spin out this technology and start manufacturing our product, as consumers are more open to try products that are not animal-derived,” stated Maija Itkonen, CEO of Onego Bio Ltd.
“With their technology, they have the potential to produce bioalbumen at an industrial scale and at a price point that is competitive with conventional egg production which has major implications for the environment and animal welfare. Egg white production has a huge total addressable market and there is a necessity to utilize precision fermentation tools to meet the demand in a sustainable manner”, added Jim Mellon, Executive Director of Agronomics.