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