New Zealand-based molecular farming start-up Miruku announced the successful closure of an $8 million Pre-Series A funding round.

Miruku said it received the funding to develop its ‘dairy seed system’, which the start-up claims avoids the need for microbial fermentation by producing novel dairy proteins and fats within the seeds of row crops.

According to Miruku, the specially designed seed crops can be harvested and processed into valuable ingredients using existing farming infrastructure, thereby enabling greater scale and more efficiency than other protein production methods. 

Miruku said in a statement that the funds will be used to conduct trials in support of regulatory approvals and co-develop products with food industry partners. 

Miruku lab.
Image via Miruku.

The latest funding round was led by Motion Capital, a new NZ venture capital firm focused on decarbonisation. Other contributors included existing investors Movac and NZGCP’s Aspire NZ Seed Fund along with new investors Cultivate Ventures, Icehouse Ventures, and NZVC.

Lachlan Nixon, Managing Partner of Motion Capital, said, “Miruku’s molecular farming technology enables the production of bio-similar dairy proteins and fats at a significantly cheaper cost, as well as with significantly less environmental impact, than traditional animal agriculture.” 

Miruku team
Miruku team. Image via Miruku.

Miruku CEO Amos Palfreyman said, “Miruku is committed to innovating at the intersection of agriculture and biotechnology,” said . “Our technology offers a scalable solution to meet the growing demand for sustainable dairy alternatives, supporting the global transition towards a more sustainable food system.”

Miruku said it plans to work with farming partners in Australia for its initial crop cultivation, then expand into key markets including the USA and Canada.

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