Amfora Expands Series B Venture Round with New Investment from BayWa
SAN FRANCISCO, July 21, 2021 -- Amfora, Inc., a biotechnology company that is using gene editing to increase the protein density of soybean and other crops to fuel the plant-based protein revolution, announced an expansion to its Series B round to a total of $7 million with new investment from the global player and stock listed company BayWa AG.
Amfora in March announced that Leaps by Bayer and Spruce Capital Partners had participated in the company’s Series B financing round. Munich-based BayWa develops leading projects and solutions for the basic human needs of food, energy, and building. It is the largest agricultural trader in Germany and is one of the leading agricultural commodities trading companies in the world.
Amfora is building a platform of technologies that enhances the nutritional density of food and feed crops. The company is applying these technologies to develop a pipeline of products aimed at meeting the growing global demand for foods that are high in protein while enhancing sustainability. The company is initially focused on developing soy as a scalable, low-cost high-density protein source for plant-based replacements of animal protein.
“On behalf of Amfora’s Board and major investors, we are delighted to have BayWa join us in supporting Amfora in our shared mission of developing a sustainable protein supply globally, enabling farmers to grow more nutritionally dense crops while reducing environmental impact,” said Juergen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer.
Amfora uses gene editing, a process for making precise modifications to the genome, to regulate a genetic switch that controls the balance between protein and carbohydrates in all crops. By maintaining this switch in the “on” position, crops produce and store more protein in their seeds at the expense of starch and fiber.
“We are acutely aware of the challenges in meeting the growing demand for a sustainable supply of protein,” said Marion Meyer, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer of BayWa and Managing Director of BayWa Venture GmbH. “Our investment in Amfora reflects our belief in the transformational potential of Amfora’s technology and the ability to enhance plant protein production while addressing global food security and reducing the carbon footprint of agriculture.”
Consumers are embracing healthy alternatives to meat because of concerns about their own health, as well as the environmental toll that meat production takes on the environment. In addition to the large amounts of water and land needed to support meat production, livestock production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses.
“Our protein-rich crops will enable the manufacturers of plant-based meat, dairy, and seafood to meet the growing consumer demand for their products at lower costs while allowing them to take meaningful steps to address the climate crisis,” said Lloyd Kunimoto, CEO of Amfora. “The proceeds from this financing will also allow us to begin to move forward with the development of crops in addition to soy, such as rice and wheat with improved nutritional profiles that will help to combat the global epidemics in obesity and diabetes while addressing the global crisis in food security and human nutritional needs.”
Kunimoto added that Amfora’s technology increases the protein content of crops, making them more complete sources of nutrition, without the need for additional fertilizer, helping to meet the growing global demand for protein without burdening the environment with increased fertilizer run-off.
Amfora is a biotechnology company that is harnessing biology to sustainably nourish the world’s population and enhancing wellness. Amfora's mission is to meet the growing global demand for foods that are high in protein by enhancing the nutritional density of food and feed crops, while reducing the cost of food and the environmental toll on the planet. More information can be found at www.amforainc.com.