Finland: “Protein From Thin Air” by Solar Foods Gets Commercial Go-Ahead

Solar Foods
©Solar Foods

The Finnish foodtech startup Solar Foods produces nutrition from thin air. What sounds like science fiction is expected to be ready for the market by end of 2022, as the €8.6 million research project has now been greenlighted.

In September 2020, Solar Foods closed its Series A financing round with €15 million, led by the Finnish food manufacturer Fazer Group. It is considered the highest investment round in the foodtech sector ever completed in the country.

Business Finland, which is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, is now greenlighting the 8.6 million project to bring Solar Foods’ innovative protein Solein to market by 2022. In this context, Business Finland confirmed that it will contribute €4.3 million to the costs. Finland’s investment takes the total Solar Foods’ financing to €24.8 million.

Solar-Foods Solein Powder_01_on-spoon
©Solar Foods

Solar Foods claims to have already developed 20 different types of food products that use the protein Solein made with air-captured CO2. The Series A investment of €15 million is presently being used for the construction of a production facility to be operational by 2022, as reported by Food Navigator.

Solar Foods describes its production process as follows: “Our bioprocess unlocks the full power of natural protein production. We’ve collected microbes from pure Finnish nature and grown them in a fermenter that is almost identical to ones used in breweries and wineries. Instead of causing CO2 emissions, our bioprocess captures carbon dioxide and uses renewable electricity throughout its production process.”

Solar-Foods Solein Powder
©Solar Foods

“Solar Foods is a fine example of a startup that Business Finland’s services and financing can support in the company’s international growth. When vision, innovation, the right team, and resources all play in tandem, Business Finland can give a significant boost to the growth story of a company”, says Kari Venäläinen, Account Manager at Business Finland.