Mycoprotein producer Enough raises €40M toward doubling its production capacity
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Making protein out of mushrooms is not a new concept; however, Enough believes its technology — and the ability to scale production quickly — will set it apart.
The Scotland-based company grabbed €40 million ($43.5 million in today’s dollars) in new growth funding to test out that theory. Enough is pumping that dough into doubling the output capacity of its first production site in the Netherlands, completed last September.
Enough was founded as 3F BIO in 2015 by Jim Laird, who has a background in food operations. The company’s proprietary technology feeds fungi with sugars from renewable feedstocks and then ferments it similar to the way beer is made.
What results is the Abunda sustainable mycoprotein, which the company says has a neutral flavor and meaty texture and is high in protein and fiber. That protein can then be used to make plant-based meat, fish and dairy products.
The company also boasts that Abunda is “up to 15 times more efficient than protein from beef,” also using less feed and producing fewer carbon dioxide emissions, which is how it’s also more affordable to produce.
“What sets us apart is our focus on introducing high-scale capacity that will serve the market on a B2B basis and with the ability to grow in line with the growing market,” Laird said in an email interview. “As the protein transition continues there is a need for non animal sources that make food that tastes as good or better and costs the same or less than the animal, and our process achieves that aim.”
Prior to building the Netherlands factory, Enough was producing small batches. Now with that online, the company is ramping up, initially producing over a tonne of Abunda every hour and around 10,000 metric tonnes per year.
The lead time from factory trials at its customers to the point where Enough supplies to retailers will often take six months, so the company does not expect retail launches until the end of the year, and more beginning in 2024, Laird said.
“We expect that demand could start to exceed our capacity by the second half of 2024, and for that reason, we are starting the installation of a second line,” Laird said. “Doubling our capacity is an important next step, but if we believe the estimates from the big banks and consultancies it is nowhere near enough to meet the growing global demand, which is forecasted to be about 10,000 tonnes per week, or the equivalent of one of our lines needed every week.”
Future plans include scaling up to over 60,000 tonnes per year starting in 2024, which Laird said would be the equivalent of growing one cow’s worth of protein every two minutes. The company expects to reach over a million tonnes, cumulatively, by 2032. Should the market continue in the forecasted trajectory, Laird said Enough has plans for a second location and is eyeing North America.
Today, Enough joins mushroom-focused food tech companies like Meati Foods and Fable Foods in bringing in a round of new venture capital. The growth funding, which closed this month, brings Enough’s total capital raised to date to over €95 million ($103 million).
World Fund and CPT Capital co-led the round, while existing investors, including AXA IM Alts through the Axa Impact Fund, HAL Investments through 280ppm, Onassis Group through Olympic Investments Inc., Tailored Solutions and Scottish Enterprise were also part of the investment.
The new investment will enable the company to scale up capacity at the factory and grow its teams across its offices in Glasgow, London and at Sas van Gent. Enough’s employee base doubled in size to 50 in 2022, and has now grown to 60, including adding John Gray as managing director of its Europe operations.
Meanwhile, the company is working with some of its partners, including Plukon Food Group, M&S and Unilever, on first-market launches. It is also gearing up to build its second production line to be completed at the end of 2024.
“We continue to strengthen the team in key areas and will continue to look at our growth finance needs,” Laird said. “The challenges in a growth industry is in aligning capacity with demand. Our balance over the coming years will be on installing capacity ahead of the growing demand curve.”