Comet Bio closes $22-million financing round, looks to build dedicated manufacturing facility
COMET BIO, A London-based food technology company that has picked up awards for its unique process of making ingredients and additives out of upcycled crop leftovers, has closed their Series C financing round after drawing in $22 million in investment.
Headquartered in the Stiller Centre on Collip Circle, with additional offices in Illinois, Comet Bio upcycles food and farm leftovers — such as wheat stems and corn stalks — into healthy, sustainable and natural ingredients for use in supplements, foods and beverages.
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Comet Bio won last year’s 2020 North American New Product Innovation award for its product called Arrabina. a prebiotic dietary fibre made from crop leftovers through a two-step process that they say is a considerably more efficient way of extracting the fibre using leftovers — the bran, husks and shells — rather than the whole plant.
According to Comet Bio, this new infusion of capital will allow the company to build their own manufacturing facility. The financing round was led by Open Prairie, a multi-faceted private equity fund management firm with headquarters in Illinois. Other investors include Louis Dreyfus Company, BDC Capital and existing investor Sofinnova Partners.
Photo: Comet Bio CEO, Rich Troyer
“Thanks to the support of our exceptional investors, we will now be able to invest in a dedicated manufacturing facility to grow the supply of our upcycled ingredients,” says Rich Troyer, CEO of Comet Bio. “We will also be investing in innovation including our product pipeline and health claims development, and we will be announcing more details about our new partners and the manufacturing plant in the coming months.”
Prebiotic additives like this are predicted to be a major industrial sector in coming years, worth as much as $6 billion according to Global Market Insights.
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“We have seen firsthand the growing consumer demand for ingredients that address gut health and sugar reduction,” says Troyer. “In addition, every single food company we’re talking to is looking to reduce food system waste. These strategic investor partnerships will enable us to meet this significant market opportunity and take Comet Bio to the next level.”
The investment round has attracted the interest of some major agricultural players, including the Louis Dreyfus Company, a global agricultural and processing company founded in 1851. In a statement their head of innovation Max Clegg says they “see tremendous potential for nutritious ingredients from upcycled agricultural materials and believe Comet Bio is well-positioned to capture this opportunity.” Kieran Delamont