€53 million Series B for FoodTech company Infinite Roots with HRH and REWE Group

Photo: The €53 million Series B round in Infi­nite Roots is the largest invest­ment in myce­lium tech­no­logy in Europe to date (Photo © Infi­nite Roots)
29. Janu­ary 2024

Colo­gne — Food­Tech company Infi­nite Roots has raised $58 million in a Series B finan­cing round. The round was led by Dr. Hans Riegel Holding (HRH), one of the two share­hol­der holding compa­nies of the Haribo Group, with the support of the EIC Fund, an initia­tive of the Euro­pean Commis­sion to make direct equity invest­ments in highly inno­va­tive start-ups and SMEs in Europe, and the REWE Group. — Beta­gro Ventures (Thai­land) and exis­ting inves­tors such as Clay Capi­tal, FoodLabs, Redal­pine, Simon Capi­tal and Happi­ness Capi­tal also parti­ci­pa­ted in the round.

The food tech company was foun­ded in 2018 by Dr. Mazen Rizk under the name Mushlabs. At the end of 2023, the company chan­ged its name to Infi­nite Roots. The start-up culti­va­tes mush­room roots, known as myce­lia, by feeding them with agri­cul­tu­ral waste. The aim is to use fermen­ta­tion to produce a protein-rich substrate, which will then be proces­sed into meat substi­tute products, such as sausa­ges or patties, in a next step.

Infi­nite Roots, which curr­ently employs 67 people from 25 count­ries, will use the new capi­tal injec­tion to further deve­lop the myce­lium tech­no­logy. The fungal myce­lium multi­plies by fermen­ta­tion in biore­ac­tors, regard­less of loca­tion and in a climate-friendly manner. Fungi are omni­vo­res that can also obtain their nutri­ents from waste mate­ri­als. “Rethin­king the produc­tion and consump­tion of food has never been as urgent as it is today,” empha­si­zes foun­der Dr. Mazen Rizk. The 38-year-old biotech­no­lo­gist came to TU Hamburg from Leba­non in 2010 to do his doctorate.

Infi­nite Roots plans to use the funds raised to further deve­lop its paten­ted myce­lium tech­no­lo­gies, expand capa­city and launch its first products. This step follows the conclu­sion of one of the largest invest­ment rounds in the field of myce­lium tech­no­logy in Europe. The company’s long-term vision is to play a key role in trans­forming the global food system by utili­zing the diverse appli­ca­ti­ons of mush­room myce­lium. The Hamburg-based food tech has raised a total of 73 million dollars in capi­tal since it was foun­ded in 2018.

Advi­sor EIC Fund: Oppenhoff 

Jointly led by Dr. Peter Etzbach and Dr. Caro­lin Roßko­then (both Corpo­rate / M&A), the team compri­sed Dr. Maike Mestmä­cker (Corpo­rate), Dr. Patric Mau (IP), Dr. Johan­nes Kaes­bach, Fato­u­mata Kaba (both Employ­ment), Marvin Roch­ner (Real Estate), Jan Tobias Kolla­kow­ski, Dr. Axel Grätz (both IT&C) and Dr. Cars­ten Bormann (Regu­la­tory).

About EIC Fund

The EIC Fund is the special fund of the Euro­pean Inno­va­tion Coun­cil and thus the central invest­ment vehicle of the Euro­pean Commis­sion. It serves to imple­ment the Euro­pean Commission’s EIC Acce­le­ra­tor program, which supports inno­va­tive and sustainable Euro­pean growth compa­nies. The EIC (Euro­pean Inno­va­tion Coun­cil) was foun­ded in the context of the pilot project “Hori­zon 2020 — the Frame­work Programme for Rese­arch and Inno­va­tion” and was successfully contin­ued in 2021 with the launch of the “Hori­zon Europe Programme”. With a term from 2021 to 2027 and a total budget of up to 95.5 billion euros, it is one of the largest funding programs for rese­arch and inno­va­tion world­wide. In 2022, the EIC Fund was the largest Euro­pean deept­ech VC fund with 71 invest­ments. Oppen­hoff has regu­larly advi­sed the EIC Fund on its invest­ments in German start-ups since 2021.

Advi­sor REWE Group: YPOG 

Dr. Johan­nes Janning (Lead, Tran­sac­tions), Part­ner, Colo­gne Nina Ahlert (Tran­sac­tion), Senior Asso­ciate, Cologne
Laura Franke (Tran­sac­tion), Senior Project Lawyer, Colo­gne Fabian Lüns­mann (Tran­sac­tion), Asso­ciate, Cologne
Dr. Bene­dikt Flöter (IP/IT/Data Protec­tion), Asso­cia­ted Part­ner, Berlin Dr. Chris­toph Cordes (IP/IT/Data Protec­tion), Asso­ciate, Berlin.

About REWE Group

The coope­ra­tively orga­ni­zed REWE Group is one of the leading trading and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2022, the company gene­ra­ted total exter­nal sales of around € 85 billion. Foun­ded in 1927, REWE Group has 380,000 employees and opera­tes in 21 Euro­pean countries.

About YPOG
YPOG is a specia­list tax and commer­cial law firm opera­ting in the core areas of Funds, Tax, Banking & Finance and Tran­sac­tions. The YPOG team advi­ses a wide variety of clients. These include emer­ging tech­no­logy compa­nies and family-run medium-sized enter­pri­ses as well as corpo­ra­ti­ons and private equity/venture capi­tal funds. YPOG is one of the leading addres­ses for venture capi­tal, private equity and fund struc­tu­ring in Germany. The firm and its part­ners are ranked natio­nally and inter­na­tio­nally by JUVE, Best Lawy­ers, Legal 500, Focus, Cham­bers and Part­ners and Leaders League. Today, YPOG employs more than 125 expe­ri­en­ced lawy­ers, tax consul­tants, tax specia­lists and a notary in three offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.

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