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Mitsui Leads $40M Series D for Calysta

May 8, 2017

Sustainable, biological fish and livestock feed developer and producer Calysta Inc. announced it has closed on a $40 million Series D led by Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd. Other investors in the round include the Singapore sovereign wealth investment fund, Temasek, and existing investors, the Dutch pure-play sustainable aquaculture fund, Aqua-Spark, Cargill, the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan, Walden Riverwood Ventures, and Pangaea Ventures.

To date, fish farming has been an operation in contradictions, with the environmental benefits of aquaculture largely being marginalized by the use of fish feed that has been comprised by wild-caught fish, and other animal proteins.

In response, Calysta has developed a methane-eating natural microbe called FeedKind ™ that produces a single cell protein that has a smaller carbon footprint than soy, is easily digestible, and is a prime alternative to fishmeal.

The funding from this round will be earmarked to support the scaling up and commercialization of Calysta’s FeedKind™ protein, a family of alternative feed ingredients developed and produced by the California-based company for the fish, livestock, and pet sectors.

This round follows upon the heels of Calysta’s $30 million Series C, which closed in February of last year and included many of the same investors – Cargill, Aqua-Spark, the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan, Old Westbury Global Real Asset Fund LLC, Walden Riverwood Ventures, and Pangaea Ventures.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mitsui and Temasek to Calysta’s strategic family of investors, supporting committed investing in products that will make a global impact,” said Tom Baruch, Executive Chairman of the Board. “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.”

Under the terms of the deal, Hitoshi Kudo, Mitsui’s general manager of the company’s Animal Nutrition Department, Nutrtiscience Division, Nutrition & Agriculture Business Unit, and Suan Swee Tan, managing director for Investments Agribusiness & Biotech for Temasek, will be joining the Calysta Board.

Mitsui & Co., which is a diversified investment, service and trading group headquartered in Tokyo, will join the ranks of Cargill and Aqua-Spark as a strategic partner with Calysta with the common goal of marketing and distributing FeedKind™ into new markets.

“We look forward to working with Mitsui as a strategic partner in the marketing and distribution of FeedKind™ in important new markets (Asia) and in the expansion of FeedKind™ production,” said Baruch. “We also welcome the opportunity to establish a significant collaboration in Singapore with Temasek, a leader in supporting innovative technology development.”

In January 2016, Calysta announced the conditional receipt of a grant from the government of the United Kingdom for the company to establish its first research and market introduction facility for its FeedKind™ product to be located in northern England, and a strategic partnership with Cargill for the collaborative North American manufacturing and worldwide marketing of its FeedKind™ product.

Aqua-Spark also began expanding the market for Calysta’s FeedKind™ protein through creating connections and linking it with other companies in its portfolio.

These development were followed in November 2016 by the announcement that Calysta and Cargill, along with other third party investors, collaborated to invest in the establishment of the world’s largest gas fermentation facility in Memphis, Tennessee, for the production of FeedKind™. The 37-acre facility is expected to begin production in 2019, with initial expected output of 20,000 tons of protein powder and pellets for the aquaculture, livestock, and pet industries per year, and eventual projected annual output of 200,000 tons upon reaching full capacity.

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

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