An agriculture feed startup has received $9.4 million in initial funding for its technology that produces pure protein from CO2.
The protein would come from carbon dioxide generated by industrial exhaust, and would be combined with hydrogen to create scalable, cheap animal feed to replace soybeans—a major feed crop linked heavily with deforestation.
Deep Branch combines some of the most basic chemical building blocks, present in everything from stars to skyscrapers—like carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen—inside a fermentation chamber where it produces high-value protein called “Proton.”
This Proton is then dried, mixed with other nutrients, and turned into pellets at a 90% CO2 savings rate compared to other feed sources.
Attracting support from the biggest feed producers in Europe, as well as carbon-control/sustainable investment funds from financial institutions like Barclays, a Series-A funding round has now been completed with multiple long-term investment commitments.
James Ferrier, an investment director at Barclays, said in a statement that “Deep Branch’s technology has the potential to be part of the solution to overcome the biggest environmental challenges of our time.”
Unlike fishmeal or soy, there is no fluctuation in price or yield caused by seasonality, food security, or reliance on favorable weather conditions.
The resulting stable prices and reliable manufacturing means that every link in the supply chain can calculate costs with much more precision.
Deep Branch, which operates in the UK and Netherlands, is currently looking for a suitable location for its first large-scale production facility.
Their hope is that the product will cut into the market share of soybeans, but also fishmeal produced normally from wild-caught salmon leftovers—another source of protein for animal feed. Their first scouted location is in Norway, the world’s largest exporter of salmon.
Deep Branch is looking to begin commercially trialing their feed with hatchery salmon and chickens next year, with the only remaining major production hurdle being where to find sources of the other vitamins and minerals needed for healthy animal growth.