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It’s All About the (Good) Microbes 🦠

It’s All About the (Good) Microbes 🦠
May 31, 2022

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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After more than two years of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and industrial-grade air filtration, it’s peculiar to see germs popping up as the solution to so many of the world's problems. Then again, probiotics are the “good bacteria” that have been touted for years as the key to a healthy gut microbiome, aka the second brain. The probiotics dietary supplement market is expected to grow to $111BN by 2030.

Our biologist counterparts have been hard at work developing a whole host of bacterial solutions for every problem, from carbon removal to plastic replacements to agriculture. Today, we’re looking at a few of those industries and companies.


                                       Stella McCartney dress dyed with Colorifix

Bacteria in Fashion
The latest accessory might just be millions of microbes. Scientists have figured out how to use bacteria to naturally deposit dyes into fabric. In an industry where garment dying typically uses massive quantities of water and energy, using bacteria can can cut water consumption in half and energy use by a third. Colorifix is one early-stage company that has worked with eco-fashion brand Stella McCartney to produce germ-based garment dye.

Sweet, Sweet Microbes
My sweet tooth hasn’t been satisfied by alternatives like Stevia. I’m still reaching for plain old sugar for my morning coffee. But Joywell Foods is nearing completion of its option for a sweetener made from microbes mimicking sweet fruits. Their recipe for success isn’t only based on sweetness; it also benefits that the sweet protein doesn’t raise the glycemic index, is low calorie, and has no weird aftertaste.

The microbes behind Beyond Meat
One of the less headline-nabbing aspects of synthetic meats and animal products is the underlying technology and systems that help those products scale. Animal-less dairy products, for example, rely on microbial processes and feedstocks for fermentation (like glucose from corn) to meet the growing demand of non-dairy drinkers. Synthesis Capital just raised a $300MM foodtech fund to deliver on scalability. The fund recently invested in Culture Biosciences, a ‘biomanufacturing-as-a-service-platform.’ The firm also invested in animal-free meat made from microbes with UPSIDE Foods and animal-free milk proteins with Perfect Day.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,911 Companies | 346 Funding Activities | 118 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Assembled raises $51MM from NEA

Customer Service • Round B • San Francisco, CA

Manta raises $35MM from Forestay

Data Management • Round B • New York, NY

Profound raises $75MM from Flagship

Therapeutics • Equity • Cambridge, MA

Bloom raises $377MM from Credo

Fintech • Round A • London, England

SpaceX raises $1.5BN from undisclosed investors

Space • Equity • Hawthorne, CA

Motive raises $150MM from Kleiner

Software • Round F • San Francisco, CA

Astroforge raises $13MM from Initialized

Space • Seed • Huntington Beach, CA

Indigov raises $25MM from Tusk

Govtech • Round B • Washington, DC

Code Ocean raises $16.5MM from Microsoft

SaaS • Round B • New York, NY

Gametime raises $30MM from Nimble

Tickets • Equity • San Francisco, CA

Broadcom announces acquisition of VMWare

Software • Acquisition • Palo Alto, CA 

LSQ acquires Qwil PBC

Fintech • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA

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