Scottish alternative meat startup ENOUGH has raised €40m in equity to help bring more plant-based chicken, mince and dairy products to supermarkets and fast food chains.
ENOUGH, a spinout of the University of Strathclyde, produces mycoprotein — a vegan protein ingredient that comes from fungus, which can be made into alternative meat, seafood and dairy products.
Instead of selling directly to consumers, ENOUGH plans to sell its protein directly to businesses, which will flavour and shape the ingredient into their own “meat” products.
The funding comes from climate tech VC World Fund and foodtech investor CPT Capital — an early investor in alt meat poster children Impossible and Beyond Meat. Previous investors, including Scottish Enterprise and Olympic Investments, followed on.
Founded in 2015, ENOUGH has now raised more than €95m, making it Europe’s best-funded mycoprotein startup. Other “meat” startups that use a similar process include Swedish startup Mycorena and German startup Mushlabs, which have raised $38.6m and $26.5m respectively, according to Dealroom.
How is mycoprotein made?
Mycoprotein might sound about as futuristic as lab-grown meat — but most of us will already have eaten it. It has been sold by companies like Quorn since the 1980s.
ENOUGH produces mycoprotein from mycelium, a form of fungi. The fungi is fed sugar from grains, which it ferments inside a large bioreactor — similar to the process used to brew beer. The resultant biomass is then separated from water to produce a protein that the company says resembles chicken mince.
The protein can be used to create products like vegan chicken fillets, burgers and schnitzels to be sold in supermarkets and by fast-food brands. The company aims to do this through partnerships with companies such as M&S and Unilever.
ENOUGH says its technology enables it to create protein more sustainability and at a lower cost than traditional meat, using 93% less water and 97% less feed than beef, resulting in a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions.
What's next for ENOUGH?
The company will use the funding to increase production from 10k tonnes of protein per year to 60k tonnes per year over the next five years at its 150k sq metre production site in the Netherlands. It will also grow its teams across its offices in Glasgow, London and the Netherlands.
The company is aiming to grow more than 1m tonnes of its mycoprotein by 2032 — what it says is the equivalent of replacing 5m cows and 1bn chickens.
And there should be plenty of customers ready to buy it: the alternative protein market has been projected to grow to $290bn by 2035, according to a study by management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group.
However, despite alternative meat booming during the pandemic, that came to an abrupt end last year. Funding for fermentation and fungi-based protein startups dropped in 2022, while funding into cultivated meat — meat produced in a lab via stem cells — continued to grow.