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Scrambling the Status Quo: OnegoBio Raises $56 Million to Crack into the Mainstream Egg Market



Monday, April 22nd, 2024

 

In light of soaring egg prices, Onego Bio (“Onego”), an innovative food-biotech start-up based out of Finland, has leveraged its patented technology to develop an animal-free egg white called “Bioalbumen.”


According to Onego’s founders, Maija Itkonen and Christopher Landowski, Bioalbumen replicates ovalbumin, the main protein in egg whites, contains 90 grams of protein per 100 grams of egg white, and comprises all essential amino acids.


In terms of sustainability, and because Bioalbumen is not produced from animals, Onego claims that it has demonstrated potential to reduce land use by 95%, greenhouse gas emissions by 89%, and water use by 72% compared to egg protein from chickens. The founders also shared that Onego is close to completing a “full-scale manufacturing unit that boasts a 2-million-liter fermentation capacity, which would effectively replace an egg farm with 6 million laying hens.”


To compete with animal-based products, Itkonen emphasized the importance of keeping costs low, and contends that Onego has achieved this through the use of economical, non-specialized equipment and productivity efficiencies that result in a larger yield.


By 2025, Onego plans to launch in North America, and then expand across Europe, South America and Asia. In preparation, Onego raised $40 million in Series A funding, led by Nordic Ninja, a Japanese-Nordic venture capital firm, with contributions from other investors and strategic partners to bring Bioalbumen to market and grow its manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, Business Finland, a government-run organization that backs innovation to drive systemic change and address major global problems, contributed $10 million in non-dilutive funding, raising Onego’s total funding to $56 million.


Tomosaku Sohara, NordicNinja’s managing partner, commented “[i]n less than two years, Onego is already working with major global food companies and is staged to disrupt the $330 billion egg market and create system level change, accelerating the green transition.”


Author: Ayesha Khanna, 2023/2024 Articling Student




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