Temasek helps quicken Calysta with $40m

Temasek has participated in a $40m series D round for Calysta, with corporate backers including Mitsui & Co and Cargill.

Calysta, a US-based food technology producer, collected $40m in series D funding yesterday from a consortium of investors that included Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment firm.

The round was led by conglomerate Mitsui & Co. Remaining investors included conglomerate Cargill and Pangaea Ventures, a VC firm backed by chemicals company Evonik, as well as the Municipal Employee Retirement System (Mers) of Michigan, Walden Riverwood Ventures and Aqua-Spark.

Calysta has developed a protein dubbed FeedKind, a feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products. The company originally developed materials for consumer and industrial energy products, but has since pivoted from that business.

The money will help advance commercial scale manufacturing of FeedKind. Mitsui will act as a strategic partner in marketing and distributing FeedKind to Asian markets and assist in the expansion of FeedKind production.

The company, with the support of Cargill and other third-party investors, announced in November 2016 that it was building a gas fermentation facility in Tennessee to come online in 2019.

Suan Swee Tan, managing director, investment agribusiness and biotech, at Temasek has joined the Calysta board of directors, as has Hitoshi Kudo, general Manager, animal nutrition department at Mistui’s nutriscience division, nutrition and agriculture business unit.

Calysta previously secured $30m in series C funding in February 2016 from Cargill, Pangaea, Mers, Walden Riverwood, Aqua-Spark and Old Westburg Global Real Asset Fund, managed by multi-family office Bessemer Trust.

In 2015, Walden Riverwood and Aqua-Spark co-led a $10m series B round with participation from Pangaea and Calysta directors and officers. Pangaea previously led a $3m series A round in 2013, also backed by company directors and officers.

Tom Baruch, executive chairman of Calysta’s board, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Mitsui and Temasek to Calysta’s strategic family of investors, supporting committed investing in products that will make a global impact.

“Calysta’s FeedKind protein, expected to enter commercial production in 2019, can help address the world’s growing demand for new sustainable sources of protein and greater food security.”

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