ProteinDistillery Secures Over €15M to Launch Europe’s First Prew:tein Competence Center – vegconomist

ProteinDistillery, a German biotech startup harnessing biomass fermentation to produce Prew:tein, has secured over €15 million in a seed round led by the Berlin-based Green Generation Fund with participation from a family office from Southern Germany.

The fresh capital will support the company’s expansion and the launch of “Europe’s first protein-competence center in Germany” to produce the company’s flagship ingredient crafted from upcycled brewer’s yeast from Germany’s beer industry.

“Looking ahead, we aim to set up an industrial-scale production facility with the capacity to produce several thousand tons of protein each year. Achieving this goal requires a carefully crafted financing strategy,” comments Marco Ries, co-founder and managing director of the startup.

A white protein powder made from brewer's yeast
Image courtesy of ProteinDistillery

The protein of 20 million eggs

ProteinDistillery, co-founded by Dr. Kurz, Christoph Pitter, Michael Baunach, and Marco Ries, has headquarters in Esslingen and Berlin.

Prew:tein is said to replicate the functions of egg whites and other proteins, including binding, gelling, emulsification, and taste enhancement. It offers 75% protein content and comes with a neutral color and taste. Made from upcycled ingredients its production supports sustainable circular economy while enabling manufacturers to develop clean-label, plant-based food products.

Last year, the company started building a mid-scale production facility in Southern Germany with industry partners, including NETZSCH, a global leader in machinery manufacturing, and GEA, a global leader in brewing technology. GEA will create new revenue streams for breweries and provide essential separation technology for ProteinDistillery’s production facility.

The protein-competence center is set to be completed by 2025. It will manufacture Prew:tein at scale in quantities to replace the protein content of over 20 million eggs with significantly less environmental impact.

A burger made with ProteinDistiller's biomass fermented-proteins
© ProteinDistillery

Versatile proteins anywhere

In addition to the mentioned partnerships, the protein-competence center has received support from business angels such as IWR Invest,  the private fund of Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the former CEO of Porsche, known for his expertise in industrial production. 

In addition, ProteinDistillery has secured financial agreements with Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen, L-Bank, and has received governmental support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

“The future of sustainable food production relies heavily on the upcycling of existing industry side streams, establishing an extremely resource-efficient process for producing versatile proteins locally. This approach eliminates dependency on weather conditions or seasons, ensuring our ability to adapt whether the next facility might be located in the Middle East or South America,” says Michael Baunach, Process & Engineering.

ProteinDistillery has been recognized as Germany’s most sustainable startup by the NEA Award 2023.

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