Terramino Foods, a San Francisco-based food startup, just reported a successful round of seed funding resulting in $4.25 million. The company claims it will invest this capital into expanding its team and developing more sustainable, vegan protein products as an alternative to meat and seafood.
Co-founded by Joshua Nixon and Kimberly Le, the company launched with the help of Indie Bio, the world’s leading biotech accelerator program that trains promising scientists in the way of entrepreneurship. The program also supported Nixon and Le with initial funding and development support.
Several progressive companies have created plant-based high protein products using a medley of sustainable sources, such as peas, soy, wheat, and even mung beans. However, Terramino is unique in that its prime protein source is derived from fungi. The startup chose mushrooms for their unique ability to mimic the taste and texture of meat, while also providing a robust nutritional profile. Co-founder Joshua Nixon explained to PR Newswire, “Our fungi naturally grow in a fibrous texture that feels like meat when you chew it.”
The first Terramino product, a vegan salmon burger, was developed at the Alternative Meat Lab at UC Berkeley. The burger is said to look, smell, taste, and chew like its fishy equivalent. Further, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids and a significant amount of easily digestible protein. Le promised, “We plan to expand into multiple seafood and meat products using our flexible and efficient protein platform.”
Investing in the Future of Food
This latest round in funding was led by the Collaborative Fund and True Ventures. Lauren Loktev, a partner at the Collaborative Fund, said, “As avid investors in meat alternatives, we were blown away by the taste and texture of Terramino’s salmon burgers and we’re excited to support Kim and Josh as they build a world-class team to create a new category in food.”
Adam D’Augelli, a partner at True Ventures, echoed Loktev in her enthusiasm: “[Terramino’s] differentiated technology and scientific approach have enabled them to create products that are both delicious and in line with the tastes and textures the consumer expects.”
Terramino products are still in development, but the company will be sampling at exclusive tasting events throughout this year. Those interested in participating in a tasting can sign up online.