The biotech spin-off from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Onego Bio gets new funding of €4.5 million from Business Finland, a public organization under the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The startup produces animal-free egg white with precision fermentation. Earlier this year, Onego Bio raised €10M seed funding from Agronomics and Maki VC. The startup will plant the new funding in the research and development of the animal-free egg protein Bioalbumen™ production.
The company uses a commercially proven Trichoderma technology to solve environmental problems associated with eggs, one of the world’s most used animal proteins. This safe, sustainable and cost-effective precision fermentation method produces ovalbumin, the most abundant egg white protein, and the team believes this chosen technology is superior because of its efficiency and productivity.
According to Business Finland, the company’s solution rises to the major global challenges and development trends in food production. It has significant international business potential, and promotes sustainable food production, food security and the fight against climate change. The funded project also promotes the commercialization of public research findings into a global competitive advantage and has a significant positive impact on the development of the company’s business.
“Since our founding in February 2022, our team has been working hard to launch remarkable development projects, recruiting talented new team members, as well as generating business plans and commercial scenarios. With the help of this amazing additional funding, we can focus on even more complex and ambitious R&D areas and keep our risk appetite and performance requirements high”, says Maija Itkonen, CEO and co-founder of Onego Bio.
Cellular agriculture uses microorganisms and bioreactors instead of traditional animal farming and can provide the same beloved food ingredients that are used every day but decoupled from the animal agriculture systems. Because of its unique functional properties, egg white is difficult to replace with alternative ingredients and it’s often the last frontier before entirely animal-free products can be manufactured.
Onego Bio provides the nutritional and functional upsides of egg white, without environmental, ethical, and safety-related concerns. The company aims to launch its first product Bioalbumen™ as a food ingredient for food industry and later enter the consumer market with its own branded products for baking and cooking.