Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Onego Bio Raises $40M to Commercialize “Revolutionary” Animal-Free Egg Protein

US-Finnish biotech company Onego Bio has raised $40 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in the Nordics. The funding will be used to drive the commercialization and manufacturing of the company’s animal-free egg protein, which is produced using precision fermentation.

The round was led by NordicNinja, with participation from Tesi, EIT Food, Agronomics, and more. It also includes $10 million in non-dilutive funding from the Finnish government association Business Finland. Previously, Onego Bio raised €10 million in seed funding in 2022, after being founded as a spinoff from VTT (the Technical Research Center of Finland).

“We’re incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a passionate team and like-minded investors”

Onego Bio’s ingredient, Bioalbumen®, has a neutral taste and is bioidentical to the major egg white protein ovalbumin. It contains all the essential amino acids, has the highest possible protein digestibility score (PDCAAS) of 1.0, and contains at least 90g of protein per 100g.

The ingredient is said to be ideal for replacing eggs across a variety of applications in the food industry, including cakes, mayonnaise, batters, nougat fillings, and more. Onego Bio is currently collaborating with more than 25 well-known CPG companies to integrate Bioalbumen® into their products.

© Onego Bio

“Powerful combination”

With the conventional egg industry facing challenges such as avian flu, animal welfare issues, and high carbon footprints, Onego Bio’s animal-free egg protein provides a safe, reliable alternative. The technology has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% and land use by 95% compared to conventional egg production, while achieving a competitive price point.

Onego Bio expects to receive self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for Bioalbumen® this year, followed by an FDA No Objection letter in 2025. The company is partnering with co-manufacturers to accelerate market entry, but also has plans to construct its own manufacturing unit. Onego Bio is initially focusing on the US as it has the most favorable regulatory landscape, but will then expand into Europe, South America, and Asia.

Last year, Onego Bio won the Food category at Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in recognition of its potential to transform the food system. In 2022, the company partnered with nth Bio — an enterprise biology business founded by alt dairy leader Perfect Day — to further develop its technology.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a passionate team and like-minded investors who share our vision for systemic change in the food system. This powerful combination has fueled our rapid growth, allowing us to deliver a revolutionary ingredient that is unmatched in terms of functionality, taste, and texture,” said Maija Itkonen, co-founder and CEO of Onego Bio. “Egg protein remains one of nature’s most perfect foods; this single ingredient supplies more than 20 different functional benefits, from aeration to emulsification and gelation.”

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