Microalgae protein ingredient firm raises $8.4 million in seed funding, says ingredients cost-competitive with pea and soy

The cost of Brevel’s microalgae protein will be on par with that of pea and soy proteins, with production costs for the microalgae protein as much as 90% lower than they would otherwise be, the company says.

Brevel, a Tel Aviv–based company producing alternative protein ingredients from microalgae fermentation, announced it raised $8.4 million in a recent seed funding round. The company will use the funds to build a commercial pilot factory to scale up its proprietary technology and R&D. Among other investors, the company received funding from the EU’s Horizon2020 program and from Israel’s Innovation Authority.

The company says its goal is to overcome challenges like cost, flavor, functionality, quality, and sustainability in the alternative proteins market. For instance, it says, “Microalgae are the ultimate source of protein in terms of sustainability, but unfortunately the existing options for microalgae as an alternative protein have very high costs and flavor barriers.”

According to the company, its technology “is the first globally to combine sugar-based fermentation of microalgae with a high concentration of light at industrial scales.” This high-intensity process ensures the resulting protein ingredients are color and flavor neutral and also for “the first time at an affordable cost for the food industry” while still retaining a rich level of nutrients and functionality. The cost of the company’s microalgae protein will be on par with that of pea and soy proteins, with production costs for the microalgae protein as much as 90% lower than they would otherwise be, it says.

Says the firm’s press release: “Brevel uses non-GMO microalgae grown in a unique breakthrough technology which enables the highest quality of sustainable protein production at cost levels comparable to pea and soy, the leading sources of plant-based protein today.”