Estonian biotech ÄIO raises €1M to make alternative oils and fats
10 February, 2023, 09:56
Tallinn-based biotech startup ÄIO has raised €1 million in fresh funding to develop and produce alternative oils and fats for the food industry. Nordic Foodtech VC, EAS, and several other partners provided the funding, The Spoon reports.
- Founded in January 2022 by TalTech bioengineers Petri-Jaan Lahtvee and Nemailla Bonturi, ÄIO is a biotechnology firm aiming to replace environmentally depleting oils with sustainable alternatives. These oils are produced from agricultural and wood industry side-streams using processes derived from biotech research.
- ÄIO ’s proprietary production technique uses a fermentation process, which the company says is similar to brewing beer or raising bread with yeast. For this, the company uses what it calls a “red bug” microbe, created and patented by Bonturi. The process results in fats rich in acids and antioxidants, as the company claims.
- Among the investors in this round are Nordic Foodtech VC, EAS, and other unnamed partners. Nordic Foodtech VC is a Helsinki-based fund investing in deep foodtech across the Nordics and Baltics. The fund made several investments in August last year, including in Tracegrow and Ruokaboksi.
- ÄIO will use the fresh funds to increase its production capacity, test products with the food industry, and apply for novel food permits to enter the European market. The company plans to begin industrial-scale production by 2026.