Clara Foods, a biotech start-up using genetically modified yeast to create egg white liquid for cooking, and an alumnus of the biotechnology accelerator IndieBio, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from an impressive line-up of angel investors.
David Friedberg, Climate Corporation’s chief executive, Gary Hirshberg, chairman of organic yoghurt producer Stoneyfield Farm, Ali and Hadi Partovi, Silicon Valley angel investors in Facebook and Dropbox, Scott Banister, angel investor and board member at PayPal, and SOSventures, an accelerator-focused venture capital firm, contributed to the round earlier this month.
Clara Foods differs from Hampton Creek, the food tech company renowned for creating mayonnaise with plant proteins instead of eggs (and raised a $90m Series C in December). Instead it uses manipulated yeast to produce lab-grown egg white liquid that is genetically identical to natural egg white.
The company wants to market the egg whites to food companies that use egg whites in their products – think pasta and desserts – in the hope of tapping into what Clara Foods says is a $3 billion market.
“Egg whites have grown in popularity as a low cholesterol, high protein food. But along with egg whites’ rising popularity, there is also a growing distaste for the environmental, welfare, and public health compromises of industrial-scale egg production,” reads the company website. Clara Foods egg white replacement will be free from salmonella and use far less natural resources than traditional chicken egg production, the company argues.
Clara Foods is the first company from IndieBio to close a round, according to a press release on its website. For more information about IndieBio’s accelerator programme and available funding, click here.