Picture Credit: Impossible Materials
New York, USA – Big Idea Ventures, the global leader in early-stage alternative protein and food technology is pleased to announce its investment in Impossible Materials.
The Switzerland-based deep-tech start-up which engineers plant-based materials to replace heavy metal ingredients in consumer goods, has successfully raised CHF 3.4m (€ 3.4m) in seed funding. The funding round was oversubscribed and led by Mission Possible Capital along with investments from Big Idea Ventures, and several other VC investors as well as experienced Swiss angel investors.
Impossible Materials is focused on turning cellulose into functional ingredients that can replace heavy metal materials in existing markets. Their first product is a cellulose white pigment, which they plan to sell to industries such as food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
Current white enhancers are often toxic, non-degrading materials and have recently raised serious health and environmental concerns. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been the preferred solution for food producers, due to its efficiency, stability, and low price. However, it has been classified as potentially cancerogenic and non-degrading and has consequently been banned from the EU.
Impossible Materials, leveraging years of research at Cambridge University, offers a biocompatible and renewable alternative, which can give plant-based chicken and fish their white color to match the look of their animal counterparts.
“Alternative protein products are getting better every day and it won’t be long until we can deliver consumers their traditional foods in more sustainable and climate friendly ways. Big Idea Ventures is investing in high quality and cost effective supporting technologies that help accelerate consumer acceptance of alternative proteins. We are pleased to support the incredible team at Impossible Materials who are delivering a natural alternative to Titanium Dioxide, an additive which is considered a carcinogen. I am excited to see their contribution towards more sustainable foods and the climate benefits they bring,” said Andrew D. Ive, Founder at Big Idea Ventures.
Left to right: Lukas Schertel, Wadood Hamad, Silvia Vignolini, Oliver Polcher
The company is led by CEO Lukas Schertel and Chief Business Officer Oliver Polcher, combining a proven record in technical and business leadership. They are complemented by the extensive experience in the field of cellulose by Chief Technology Officer, Wadood Hamad, and Scientific Advisor, Prof Silvia Vignolini.
“We are thrilled to have secured this seed funding, which will enable us to take our technology to the next level,” said Lukas Schertel, CEO of Impossible Materials. “Our platform technology is ready for the next step towards mass-production. I am grateful to work every day with such an experienced team that allows attracting highly qualified co-workers. We are confident that our technology will play a leading role in engineering high-value plant-based formulation ingredients that can have a positive impact on the environment and society.”
The funds will be used to construct a pilot facility in Marly, Switzerland, expand the team, and work on market entry with 80+ companies that have already expressed interest in their technology.
About Impossible Materials: Impossible Materials is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge and University of Fribourg incorporated in Switzerland in 2022. Their goal is to enable businesses working towards a circular economy by providing plant-based formulation ingredients. Their first product is a cellulose white pigment, which they plan to sell to industries such as cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals. The white pigment industries are dominated by titanium dioxide, a material that has been banned from the EU food industry due to its classification as potentially cancerogenic. With their cellulose product Impossible Materials offers a biocompatible and renewable alternative. Check out www.impossiblematerials.com
About Big Idea Ventures: Big Idea Ventures is the world’s most active investor in FoodTech investing in the best food technology and agritech companies globally. The company has contributed to the development of the growing alternative protein industry since its inception and has become a global leader in food innovation. BIV is backed by a strong network of strategic partners including AAK, Avril, Bühler, Givaudan, Temasek Holdings, and Tyson Foods, and is partnering with governments around the world working on food security and new food ecosystems. The firm has offices in New York, Paris and Singapore and has invested in more than 100 companies across 22 countries. For more information, visit bigideaventures.com
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