Brightseed announces new funding, which will finance further discovery and commercialization

The new funding will enable Brightseed to advance natural compound discovery and clinical validation, as well as launch the company’s first generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredient from a new commercialization center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brightseed (San Francisco, CA) announced $68 million in Series B funding led by Temasek, with participation from existing and new investors. The new funding will enable Brightseed to advance natural compound discovery and clinical validation, as well as launch the company’s first generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredient from a new commercialization center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Nature holds an incredibly rich and largely uncharted source of powerful, natural bioactives that create health benefits in humans, and we’re now able to access and integrate them into products for food and health industries,” said Jim Flatt, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Brightseed, in a press release. “Discovering and mapping natural bioactives to human health benefits was just the first step for Brightseed. Now, we’re launching clinically-studied ingredients and insights to illuminate the hidden potential in nature to restore human health.”

Brightseed’s Forager AI has mapped more than two million plant compounds and dozens are in various stages of validation across multiple health areas such as metabolic health, digestive health, cognitive health, blood sugar management, maternal health, and immune health. Recently, the firm discovered powerful bioactives in hemp seed shells to support liver health and metabolism. An animal study, recently published in PLoS ONE, found that one of the discovered compounds, N-trans caffeoyltyramine (NCT), upregulated genes typically downregulated by inflammatory bowel disease.1 This ingredient will be launched as a GRAS whole-food ingredient to support gut health later this year.

Brightseed has also partnered with a number of major brands, including Danone SA, Ocean Spray, ofi, and Pharmavite to identify natural compounds with potential health benefits.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for natural and accessible solutions to restore their health, but industry has been severely limited by a lack of tools and technologies to look more deeply into nature’s potential to do that,” said Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and COO of Brightseed. “Brightseed is building the opportunity space for health innovation rooted in nature, and delivering a clear path forward for clinical validation. We are eager to make our bioactives readily accessible for food and health industries as we move from lab to shelf, and embrace consumers along the journey of bioactive discovery.”

Reference

  1. Lee SH et al. “A potent HNF4α agonist reveals that HNF4α controls genes important in inflammatory bowel disease and Paneth cells.” PLoS One, vol. 17, no. 4 (April 6, 2022); https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0266066