Today, ICL, a leading global specialty minerals company, announced its AgriFood innovation and investment platform, ICL Planet Startup Hub, has invested €2.75 million in Arkeon, GmbH. The investment will support Arkeon’s breakthrough carbon conversion process, which is used to create completely customizable protein ingredients by capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and converting it into the 20 proteinogenic amino acids necessary for human nutrition.
The resulting alternative proteins are carbon negative and clean-label functional ingredients. Arkeon’s patented process has pioneered the harnessing of carbon dioxide to make protein, through the use of archaea, a highly resilient single-celled microorganism. Archaea, part of the microbiota of all organisms, naturally feeds on CO2 and transforms these environmental emissions into nutritious protein.
The ICL Planet Startup Hub’s support will help Arkeon scale its archaea-derived protein production capabilities. ICL’s investment marks the third investment in the past 12 months, via its Planet Startup Hub, an accelerator established to nurture and advance both early stage and pilot-ready innovative companies operating within the FoodTech and AgriTech domains.
Arkeon on has achieved a major breakthrough, by finding a way to nourish people and revitalize our ecosystems at the same time,” said Hadar Sutovsky, vice president of External Innovation at ICL, and general manager of ICL Planet. “Our support and partnership will be instrumental in helping Arkeon bring its sustainable technology to scale.”
With ICL’s extensive experience and accrued insights, plus market and regulatory related support, Arkeon will have full access to the ICL Food Specialties state-of-the-art R&D labs and production facilities. The SAFE investment round, which totals more than €4 million and includes other investors, will help to further Arkeon’s development of its renewable and easy to use protein.
“Arkeon’s dedication to developing a renewable and easy to use protein is completely in-line with our organization’s commitment to creating impactful solutions for humanity’s sustainability challenges in the global food markets,” added Rado Sporka, vice president of the Food Specialties Commercial Business for ICL.