Icos Invests in NoPalm

Ede, Netherlands; January 18 – NoPalm Ingredients, a BioTech Start-up making sidestream-based microbial oil to replace palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents, announced today it has raised € 1M in a first funding round. Green Creators, Future Food Fund and ICOS Capital have joined the round as well as a group of angel investors.

NoPalm Ingredients is on a mission to replace palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents by producing a high-quality local, circular and sustainable alternative. By doing so, No Palm Ingredients aims to save the tropical rainforest for future generations.

Growing palm kernels on plantations mainly in tropical regions is one of the most cost-efficient ways globally to produce plant-based oil. Therefore an explosive growth of palm plantations has occurred over the last years. Unfortunately, this has led to a range of growing environmental and social problems. Palm oil production is responsible for significant amounts of carbon emissions and habitat losses of endangered species. In addition, local populations are often a victim of suppression and land grab.

NoPalm Ingredients has come up with a solution for this problem. It applies fermentation technology to “brew” microbial oil that has similar characteristics to palm oil, allowing it to replace palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents. NoPalm brews their microbial oil by fermenting a variety of sidestreams as feedstock, for example, potato peels, rejected vegetables and sugar beet tops. After the fermentation process, the oil is separated from the biomass and sold as an ingredient to cosmetics, food and detergent companies. The biomass that remains is brought back into the value chain, making the microbial oil a truly circular and sustainable solution.

Compared to palm oil, NoPalm Ingredients’ microbial oil has a significantly lower carbon footprint, without compromising wildlife habitat or the local population’s wellbeing.

NoPalm Ingredients is actively looking for strategic partnerships to achieve our ambition of replacing palm oil being used as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents.

“Despite the dominant use of palm oil in cosmetics, food and detergents,” Lars Langhout, CEO and co- founder at NoPalm Ingredients states, “we often hear from customers that they are seeking alternatives that are more reliable and sustainable than palm oil – with NoPalm Ingredients, we strive to satisfy that their needs while making the world a better place.”

“The oil produced by our yeasts is remarkably similar to plant-derived oils such as palm, sunflower and coconut” says CTO and co-founder, Jeroen Hugenholtz. “Our yeasts contain high amounts of oil, much higher than the oil-containing crops, making the overall oil production much more efficient and less energy-intense than for vegetable oils. In addition, we have the great advantage that our microbial – fermentation – process is tunable allowing for the production of harder or softer oils depending on the need of the customer or application.”

Jeroen Naus, Green Creators, a Dutch seed investor: “We were immediately very enthusiastic about the promise of a palm oil replacement for large global sectors, knowing what devastating effects the palm oil sector can have on nature and people. Reusing and upgrading organic waste exactly fits our sustainability goals with our investments and business ventures. NoPalm Ingredients has the right product, founder team and market timing to make this a global success in our opinion.”

Jaap Strengers, investor with Future Food Fund: “A promising technology applied to solving one of the main environmental problems worldwide, combined with a strong founding team, is what made us decide to invest in NoPalm Ingredients. We are excited to support the company and are looking forward to helping them scale up over the coming years.”

Nityen Lal, ICOS Capital, European growth investor in Sustainability: “Palm Oil is the elephant in the room with a poor sustainability track record but it is also $48 billion global industry. We are thrilled to support this team of highly competent scientists and entrepreneurs that have developed the solution to make palm oil wholly sustainable and circular.“

With the funding raised, NoPalm Ingredients strives to scale and optimize its production technology to industrial levels.

About NoPalm Ingredients

NoPalm Ingredients is a BioTech Start-up making sidestream-based microbial oil to replace palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents. NoPalm Ingredients makes use of fermentation technology to produce its microbial oil. By using sidestreams, NoPalm Ingredients is the first company that can produce a truly sustainable and reliable alternative to one of the world’s biggest problems: palm oil. The company is headquartered in Ede. In 2021 the team received recognition winning the Fi Global Start-up Innovation challenge in the category “Most innovative F&B ingredient or Processing Technology”, while also being a finalist in the Blue Tulip Innovation Awards and a semi-finalist in the ASN Wereldbank Prijs. For more information visit https://www.nopalm-ingredients.com

About Green Creators

Green Creators is an investment entity associated with Lab Associates, a supplier of products and services to plant science laboratories and plant-based industries. Lab Associates supports businesses working with plant cells, plant tissues and plant derived components such as secondary metabolites. Customers are active in areas such as agriculture, horticulture, forestry, indoor farming, plant-based foods & drinks, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. NoPalm is Green Creators’ second investment, following on in Glowfarms. Glowfarms is a Dutch AgTech startup using an innovative looping system to make vertical farming more cost and energy efficient. For more information about Green Creators, please contact: alexander.kneepkens@greencreators.co

About Future Food Fund

Future Food Fund is a EUR 12m seed capital fund, founded and financed by 30 entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, mainly with a background in Food & Agri and technology, aspire to actively participate in the fund, not only with money but also with knowledge, experience and network. Future Food Fund focuses on Dutch startups that want to make a positive impact in the food & agriculture sector with innovative technologies and/or disruptive revenue models. . For more information about Future Food Fund, please contact: jaap@futurefoodfund.com

About ICOS Capital

Icos Capital is a European venture capital firm headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands focused on investment propositions that promote the sustainability of human beings and their environment. Icos Capital is investing in collaborative partnerships with leading European corporations Cosun, Bühler Group and Nouryon. For more information about Icos Capital, please contact: nlal@icoscapital.com