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Calysta lands $40m in Series D funding

Mitsui and Temasek have joined a group of existing investors to support commercial-scale manufacturing of FeedKind, a methane-based alternative to traditional aquaculture fishmeal ingredients.

Calysta, a Menlo Park, California-based company developing alternative feed ingredients for fish, livestock and pets, has secured $40 million in Series D funding from a combination of new and existing investors.

Mitsui & Co. and Temasek join existing backers Cargill, Aqua Spark, Pangaea Ventures and the Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan in providing capital that will be used to support commercial-scale manufacturing of FeedKind, according to a company statement.

Calysta describes FeedKind as a non-animal, non-vegetable and non-GMO alternative to traditional fishmeal for aquaculture that is produced through a proprietary natural fermentation process similar to the production of beer or bread.

“Calysta’s FeedKind protein, expected to enter commercial production in 2019, can help address the world’s growing demand for new sustainable sources of protein and greater food security,” said executive chairman of the Calysta board Tom Baruch in the statement.

According to a Calysta-sponsored report examining FeedKind’s environmental impact published by the Carbon Trust last year, the process involves natural gas (or another source of methane) being processed through specialized equipment that allows microorganisms to metabolize the gas and produce a high-protein biomass that is then dried and packaged.

The report found that upon reaching commercial production, FeedKind will have a carbon footprint comparable to or better than alternative feed ingredients such as wheat and soy, while using between 77 and 98 percent less water.

Calysta chief product and innovation officer Josh Silverman told Delta Farm Press earlier this week that the company uses natural gas as a feedstock because of its abundance, but could turn to alternative sources of methane in the future, such as farm wastes and manure.

Last month, Calysta announced it had started construction on a 37-acre FeedKind production facility located on Cargill’s Memphis, Tennessee campus that is to be built and managed through a distinct venture named NouriTech. Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2018 and be completed by 2020, when it will be capable of producing 200,000 metric tons of FeedKind each year, according to the statement.