Investments & Finance

Agronomics Secures $25M USDA Backing for Liberation Labs Biomanufacturing Facility

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a $25 million loan guarantee to support Agronomics, a leading cellular agriculture and cultivated meat investment firm, in the completion of a large-scale biomanufacturing facility in Indiana. 

Allocated for the finalization of Liberation Labs’ 600,000-liter bio-protein facility, the funding will support a resolution to the industry’s fermentation production capacity deficit. With commercial production scheduled to begin Q1 2025, the facility aims to efficiently produce novel proteins, including those that replicate the characteristics of egg and dairy proteins.

“Liberation Labs is developing […] fermentation infrastructure which will transform the existing fermentation capacity”

Executive Director of Agronomics, Jim Mellon, expressed optimism about Liberation Labs’ cutting-edge fermentation infrastructure, stating, “Liberation Labs is developing state-of-the-art purpose-built fermentation infrastructure which will transform the existing fermentation capacity and help build a future in which precision fermentation proteins reach the industrial scale needed to meet growing demand in the US and across the world.”

rebellyous foods plant based chicken tenders
© Rebellyous Foods

Agronomics has contributed $7.6 million to Liberation Labs since its inception, representing approximately 10.5% of Liberation Labs’ reported value. Additionally, Agronomics holds an ownership stake of 37.4%, giving the company significant interest in the success and performance of Liberation Labs.

Agronomics’ investment portfolio

The UK venture capital firm has curated a diverse portfolio of over 20 companies in the cell-ag and precision fermentation space. It has spearheaded funding rounds for entities such as Ohayo Valley, a cultivated wagyu beef producer, along with previous Liberation Labs investment rounds. Agronomics’ investment portfolio extends to include BlueNalu, Rebellyous Foods, and Mosa Meat. Agronomics has also ventured into the cultivated pet food sector with its subsidiary, Good Dog Food, securing £3.6 million in a recent seed financing round.

In an interview with vegconomist, co-founder of Agronomics, Anthony Chow commented on the role of precision fermentation in the adoption of plant-based proteins, “Plant-based proteins are unlikely to be able to regain the rapid sales growth and levels of adoption once projected, until their sensory profile is enhanced most likely by precision fermentation-produced proteins.”

Mellon concludes, “With continued progress and key delivery timelines on track, we look forward to the operational launch in 2025.”

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