Amfora Raises $6 Million with Investment from Leaps by Bayer and Spruce Capital Partners
Proceeds will fuel the plant-based protein revolution
SAN FRANCISCO—MARCH 23, 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 that Leaps by Bayer, and Spruce Capital Partners invested $6 million in its Series B financing round.
“Amfora is using cutting-edge technologies to address the important challenges of food security, climate change, and growing consumer demands for protein-rich foods,” said Ganesh Kishore, Managing Partner of Spruce Capital Partners and a founder of Amfora. “In addition to its investment, Bayer’s global footprint, scientific expertise, and market savvy will aid in accelerating Amfora’s leveraging its foundational plant-based protein platform.”
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. Amfora is initially focused on developing soy as a scalable, low-cost high-density protein source for plant-based replacements of animal protein.
“Meeting the rapidly growing demand for a sustainable protein supply is a key focus area for Leaps by Bayer, said Juergen Eckhardt, M.D., Head of Leaps by Bayer, which was built to drive fundamental breakthroughs in the fields of health and agriculture through new technologies. “Our investment in Amfora underscores our belief in the importance of moving from more to better in plant protein production, as well as enhancing global food security while reducing the carbon footprint of agriculture.”
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.
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.