Protera, an AI-driven startup designing and developing new proteins to enable a wide range of natural and sustainable solutions, announced today it has closed a $5.6 million Series A financing led by Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm. Tech venture capital firm SOSV, an existing investor, also participated.
The financing is intended to support the commercialization of Protera’s protein ingredient portfolio.
The company is about to begin pilot trials with multinational food companies to deploy a unique, clean-label protein that extends shelf-life and replaces chemically derived ingredients.
“We throw away one-third of the food we produce every year worldwide, and one of the main reasons is microbial contamination. This financing will enable us to scale up protera guard™, a protein that provides people with food that lasts longer, and which replaces widely used chemical ingredients with an efficient natural alternative,” says Leonardo Álvarez, CEO and co-founder of the company. “We are thrilled to have Sofinnova Partners’ support and to be able to draw on its strategic counsel and deep industrial biotechnology expertise,” he said.
To design and develop new proteins, Protera uses a proprietary deep learning algorithm, MADI™, that predicts high value, patentable protein products and enzymes with unprecedented speed.
“The highly entrepreneurial team at Protera leverages the convergence of recent AI developments and the opportunity to engineer biology to develop sustainable solutions in multiple verticals,” said Joško Bobanović, Partner at Sofinnova Partners. Mr. Bobanović, who has helped build Sofinnova Partners’ reputation as a pioneer in industrial biotech in Europe, will join Protera’s board of directors.
Mr. Álvarez and Francia Navarrete, Chief Operations Officer, founded Protera in 2015 in Chile. In 2016 the company joined IndieBio, a biology-focused accelerator in Silicon Valley. Since then, Protera has been developing its AI technology, allowing it to craft functional protein ingredients that are clean-label and animal-free.
Protera takes advantage of deep learning to shine a light on a previously untapped universe of proteins. Mr. Álvarez said, “Our products will allow manufacturers to use proteins in a myriad of applications that were thought to be impossible before. We are harnessing protein engineering to address critical sustainability issues – from food to agriculture and human health.”
Protera is advancing the science of protein engineering to address some of the most critical problems and opportunities in food, agriculture, the environment and human health. We streamline protein design and development with MADI™, our proprietary deep learning algorithm, to predict high value protein products and enzymes with unprecedented speed. http://proterabio.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, with offices in London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The firm focuses on paradigm-shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management. www.sofinnovapartners.com