Deep Branch is a carbon dioxide recycling company that has operations in both the UK and the Netherlands. It has raised €8M in its Series A round of funding. The round saw a combination of €4M in non-dilutive funding secured from UK and EU grant-funded projects scheduled from Q4 2020 to Q1 2023.
The round was led by Novo Holdings and DSM Venturing, with participation from Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital.
In addition, Johan Hueffer, Senior Partner at Novo Holdings, and Rob Beudeker, Investment Director at DSM Venturing, will join Deep Branch’s Board of Directors.
With this development, Lars Topholm, head of research at Carnegie Investment Bank in Denmark and non-executive Board member of Deep Branch since 2019, has been elected as Chair of the Board.
Pieter Wolters, MD of DSM Venturing, believes, “Protein is vital for good health yet producing it is one of the largest greenhouse gas contributors. At DSM, we’re applying our scientific know-how to feed the world more sustainably, such as reducing the carbon footprint of animal farming and creating alternatives to wild-caught fish for feed. Deep Branch has potentially transformational technology, and we’re excited to become an investor.”
What does Deep Branch do?
Founded in 2018 by Peter Rowe, Robert Mansfield, and Bart Pander, Deep Branch is a carbon dioxide recycling company that has developed its first product – Proton™, which uses microorganisms to convert CO2 into high-quality products.
They generate clean, nutritious, and sustainable single-cell protein directly from carbon dioxide present in the industrial waste gas, and hence reducing the carbon footprint of emitters and providing sustainable alternatives to soy and fishmeal for the feed industry. The company is currently operating in both the UK and the Netherlands.
Their ingredient – Proton™, is not just a more environmentally friendly feed ingredient but will also provide a regular supply of a price-stable, price-competitive, and nutritionally optimal bulk protein.
Cindi Choi, MD at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, says, “Deep Branch‘s innovation could be instrumental to decarbonise the agri-food industry, which accounts today for close to a 1/4th of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.”
Use of the funds
The raised capital will enable the completion of Deep Branch’s scale-up hub at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus (Limburg, NL), producing the first pilot-scale batches of Proton for full nutritional validation with Europe’s feed producers including BioMar and AB Agri.
In addition, the funds will also help the company to inform key engineering design work for its first commercial-scale production facility.
Recently, the company was highlighted by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s most impactful, commercially viable scale-ups as part of The Circulars Accelerator.
Peter Rowe, CEO of Deep Branch, says, “The financial support and extensive expertise this investment round brings us will accelerate the execution of our vision. It reflects our heavy emphasis on collaboration, complementing our existing partnerships by bringing in new aspects of the value chain, including hydrogen, scaling bioprocesses, and commercial finance. We regard our technology as a platform that we will leverage to address new markets with Proton, as well as expanding our product line to more CO2-based products.”
Rowe has a targeted view on what it takes to take Deep Branch to market.
He adds, “We are concluding a mapping exercise to determine the optimal location for our first Proton™ commercial production facility. Norway’s world-leading position in both the salmon industry and production of low-carbon hydrogen make it ideal from an offtake and input perspective, putting it high on our list. To meet our goal of commercial production by 2023, we have already begun engaging the necessary partners to make this a reality.”