Picture Berlin Partner Special Topic Well-trained Professionals 650x100px
Document › Details

EniferBio Ltd.. (4/19/23). "Press Release: EniferBio raises €11M to Make Planet-friendly Fungal Protein from the By-products of food and agricultural processes". Espoo.

Organisations Organisation EniferBio Ltd. (FI)
  Organisation 2 Voima Ventures (FI)
Products Product industrial biotechnology
  Product 2 venture capital
Index term Index term EniferBio–SEVERAL: investment, 202304 financing round Series A €11m led by Aqua-Spark

The successful A-round was led by Aqua-Spark and joined by Tesi, Valio, Voima Ventures, and Nordic Foodtech VC. With the investment, eniferBio will begin to scale the production of its PEKILO® mycoprotein powder, which contains very high levels of protein, healthy carbs, fats, and minerals. Its carbon footprint is over 50x smaller than beef’s, and doesn’t require large land masses or water usage like growing soybeans.

Finnish biotech startup eniferBio has successfully raised an €11M series A funding round. The round was led by the Netherlands-based global aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark, with Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) and Valio, Voima Ventures and Nordic Foodtech VC also joining the round. With the freshly raised funding, the company will begin to scale up the production of its PEKILO® mycoprotein powder to thousands of tons per year and seek Novel Food approval from the EU and other markets.

The world faces the seemingly insurmountable challenge of doubling the protein supply by 2050 to answer the demand from a larger and wealthier global population, while simultaneously decreasing CO2 emissions from the food value chain. The production of traditional animal- and plant-based proteins cannot be doubled without the planet boiling over, and the world therefore urgently needs novel innovative sources of protein.

PEKILO® is a fungus that, through a special fermentation process, can produce a dried powder rich in protein and has a vast variety of usage cases, such as pet food and aquafeed. The process was originally developed by forestry industry scientists in the 1960s in Finland to produce cost-efficient animal feed protein from side streams of the pulp and paper industry.

Using the same, yet enhanced, proprietary technology and fermentation process, eniferBio can upcycle by-products from diverse agri-, food- and forest industry processes into its PEKILO® mycoprotein, which consists of up to 70% protein, 20–30% of good-quality fiber, about 10% of fats and minerals, and has a high concentration of vitamin B. The production process is efficient, uses very little water, doesn’t require large land areas and does not cause eutrophication like traditional agriculture.

“We are extremely excited to have our new investors Aqua-Spark, Tesi, and Valio join us on our mission to feed the world with sustainable protein. Together they put a huge amount of new sector-specific know-how and networks at our disposal. We’re also glad to see our long-term backers Nordic Foodtech VC and Voima Ventures double down on their bets and show their continued support for our vision,” says CEO and cofounder of eniferBio Simo Ellilä.

According to Statista, humans consumed 160 million metric tons of farmed and wild fish in 2021. Aquaculture production has overtaken the wild fish catch and is the most rapidly expanding food production sector, requiring huge amounts of new high-quality protein feeds. Soy has become a common feed ingredient, with Brazilian soybean production increasing and estimated to reach 152 million tons in 2021/2022. By comparison, PEKILO® mycoprotein has a lower carbon footprint than soybean, offering a sustainable alternative for the European market that is currently heavily reliant on imported soybeans.

“We are very excited to work with eniferBio to scale PEKILO® as a positive ingredient in the sustainable aquaculture feed of the future,” says Lissy Smit, CEO of Aqua-Spark. “Greening aquaculture feed by eliminating our reliance on wild ingredients and reducing our footprint is one of our biggest priorities in getting to a more sustainable aquaculture industry. EniferBio’s alternative feed ingredient serves as a replacement for soy in aquafeed. It significantly reduces land and water usage. Furthermore, early trials suggest that it has the potential to improve growth performance and immune response in fish.”

eniferBio already has ongoing partnerships with big global companies in the feed and food industries, such as Skretting, the global aquafeed division of Nutreco, Purina for pet food, and Valio for consumer food products. Its next big phase includes developing products fit for consumers through collaboration with Valio, a brand leader in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market.

“New, plant-based sources of protein are gaining interest amongst consumers and demand is growing worldwide. In addition to traditional food production, we also need new ways of producing food that promote the circular economy. eniferBio is a cutting-edge research company that has developed new ways of utilising the food industry’s side streams in the production of protein. We want to strengthen our cooperation and be involved in developing new ways of producing food to meet the growing global demand for food,” says Tuomas Salusjärvi, Executive Vice President, Growth Businesses and R&D at Valio.

”Production of alternative protein sources has been estimated to have the best positive climate impact in relation to the invested capital. The company is on the forefront of local foodtech startups, and it possesses a verified technology, which the team has managed to commercialise. The company is a fine addition to Tesi’s portfolio regarding sustainable food production,” comments Jan-Patrick Haikkola, Investment Manager at Tesi.

Now, almost three years after the company spun out from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, eniferBio is ready to scale up its operations by building industrial production plants and applying for permission to spread mycoprotein usage into new products and markets.

“We have a product that turns today’s waste into a high-value ingredient. We can provide the world’s most competitive protein production process and a product that has been tested on an industrial scale for over 15 years. We are now ready for the next phase of scaling our production and product use cases,” Ellilä concludes.

For additional information:

Media kit with pictures

Simo Ellilä, CEO
+358 40 567 5786

About eniferBio

eniferBio Ltd, a spin-off company from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, was founded by five scientists in 2020 to further develop and commercialize the proprietary PEKILO® technology. A process originally developed and used by the Finnish forest industry at a commercial scale, the PEKILO® technology enables the biotechnological conversion of dilute side streams into a high-protein ingredient, PEKILO® mycoprotein.

For more information, visit:

About Aqua-Spark

Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) it invests in are working toward the production of safe, accessible aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish and plants, in ways that do not harm our oceans. Its investors value the fact that each investment aims to create triple impact—specifically, each investment is chosen for its potential to generate financial returns while also activating positive environmental and social outcomes.

For more information about Aqua-Spark, please visit

About Valio

Valio, offering the taste of Nordic nature since 1905, is a brand leader and the biggest dairy business in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market. The company is owned by dairy cooperatives comprising some 4,000 dairy farmers.

Wellbeing is at the heart of Valio’s world-leading technology innovations, expertise and products that are made from clean Finnish milk and other ingredients. Our product development follows in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner A. I. Virtanen, and the company holds 350 patents in 50 countries. Our efforts to improve animal welfare are resolute, and we know that only healthy cows can produce premium milk products. Valio’s milk ranks among the cleanest in the world, and we have zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in milk.

Valio has net sales of EUR 1.9 billion and is Finland’s biggest food exporter. Valio products are found in some 60 countries and account for 25 % of Finland’s total food exports. Valio seeks strong growth in international markets and has subsidiaries in Sweden, the Baltics, USA and China.

Record changed: 2023-10-21


Picture EBD Group World of Partnering Opportunities 650x200px

To subscribe to our free, monthly newsletter for the European life sciences, please send an e-mail to and simply fill the subject line with the word »LSE Newsletter«

Find more infos about advertising at [iito] web portals in our media flyer [iito] in a Nutshell [PDF file]

Please visit also our web portals for the life sciences in German-speaking Europe (DE, AT & CH) and the worldwide mass spectrometry industry at (life sciences in German-speaking Europe) and (worldwide mass spectrometry)


Picture EBD Group Biotech Showcase 2024 San Francisco 650x300px

» top