With a planet in crisis, a lot needs to change, and fast. Bruce Willis in a spaceship ain’t gonna cut it this time around.
The food system rates medium-to-highly on the fucked scale, clocking in a full third of Earth’s GHG emissions, scything down rainforests, exploiting workers, shooting up on antibiotics, and that’s before even mentioning the fluffy critters who are probably getting the roughest end of this ol’ deal.
Since 2019 Formo has been in the business of reimagining how and for whom the food system works. By making milk proteins using microorganisms instead of cows, we figured we could bust some of the most damaging elements of our relationship with food. Combining precision-fermentation made dairy proteins with artisanal, age-old techniques, we’re making unbelievably decadent cheese that will set the world on fire (in a good way).
That’s right — We’re talking real proteins, real cheese, unreal flavours: and all with no animals involved.
We get excited saying it and people get excited hearing it: we are as smug as anything to have secured $50M for our recent fundraising round: the largest ever European Series A food-tech deal.
This new funding will allow us to turbomegacharge our progress — pulling in more of the best brains around, move into a new Formo HQ, accelerate our research, get the world tasting our cheeses and build up capacity to produce proteins at serious scale. We are taking the dairy parlour of the future microscopic and then back up to a size that can get in the ring with industrial dairy, gloves off.
While it’s tempting to consider this truckload of fresh cash as a win in itself, it’s more important to reflect on what this money fundamentally represents:it’s trust in our rockstar team and the values we cherish, it’s recognition of our technological pacesetting, and fundamentally, belief that people everywhere are ready to make decisions every day that take us towards a better, more sustainable planet. Huge.
While dollar incentives haven’t always yielded optimal outcomes for the planet and its inhabitants, the power of money spent by each of us can foster a safer, fairer world. Money in the hands of the right communities and organisations, nurturing the right ideas and underpinned by solid morals can generate immense societal good. We are so happy that our investors see it this way, and see us as having the resolve, creed and borderline-problematic-obsession with cheese to undertake this mission.
We also recognize that technological breakthroughs will form just one aspect of the bundle of solutions needed to create a better food system. Next-gen burgers and cheese will not solve it all andwe need political, business, consumer, technological and philosophical forces working in harmony to ensure a planet fit for the future.We have a role in stimulating each of these; partnering with our peers in the food community to prepare for the changes ahead, co-crafting responsible and equitable industry standards and policies with politicians, as well as introducing this new class of products to consumers. It all falls squarely into the remit of our startup, fearless and never unaware of the impact we can have on the world.
Earlier this year we set the ambitious target of replacing 10% of dairy products in Europe by 2030 using precision-fermentation. With this new investment, that goal — and the benefits to the climate, animal welfare, public health and the food system as a whole — feel closer than ever. There is much work to be done and many fantastic people who we can’t wait to join us on this journey, both inside and outside the company.
The time is now and we couldn’t be more excited about it.