Madrid, 14 March, 2023. Cocoon Bioscience, the biocomponent business spun-off from the Spanish biotech company Algenex, following the successful sale of Algenex to the pharmaceutical group Insud Pharma in September 2022, has completed a €15 million funding round to develop and scale its business.
Cocoon Bioscience’s funding round, led by Columbus Venture Partners and Cleon Capital, will also include several blue-chip co-investors including the Spanish listed company Viscofan, US-based North South Ventures, Luxembourg-based Sangha Capital, BASQUE, FCR, and other strategic partners.
Founded in 2022, Cocoon is an innovator in the field of biological manufacturing, with an initial focus on the production of two product families: (i) specialty enzymes for cutting edge industrial biotech processes such as mRNA synthesis and genetic sequencing, and (ii) high performance growth factors for the alternative protein industry, an emerging global market with tremendous potential.
The funds will be deployed to build a new manufacturing facility located at Bizcaia’s Technological Park in Zamudio, Bilbao, designed to scale production of Cocoon’s commercial products to fulfill rapidly escalating demand as well as to invest in both product and process innovation and strengthen the Cocoon Bioscience team. The new facility marks an important milestone in Cocoon’s strategic vision of disrupting both the specialty enzyme and cultivated meat sector.
Cocoon Bioscience’s vision and contribution to sustainability objectives is tied to both the production process and the products, which have a strong positive impact on the environment, enabling better access to food and healthcare. Their innovative manufacturing platform, based on the use of cocoons, is more natural and significantly more cost efficient than the traditional method of manufacturing enzymes and growth factors using large bioreactors. By enabling a high quality and more cost-competitive final product, Cocoon Bioscience indirectly supports the environmental and social impact of cultured meat, which offers the promise of reduced greenhouse gases and the water footprint and a more efficient land usage.
Josh Robinson, CEO of Cocoon, stated “The experience and support from the investors participating in this round will play a critical role as we grow Cocoon’s business over the coming months and years. Cocoon’s platform and the products manufactured have been successfully proven and pressure-tested many times over. Now, this round of funding will allow us to rapidly scale our platform to the industrial level so that we can address the exponential demand for high performance growth factor proteins for the cultivated meat industry as well as the need for cost-competitive enzymes involved in key healthcare applications such as mRNA and genetic sequencing”.
“We are very pleased with Cocoon’s launch. The potential is immense as it marks an important milestone in Cocoon’s strategic vision of disrupting both the specialty enzyme and cultivated meat sector. It comes after years of perfecting the technology at predecessor company Algenex. It also represents another sign of our commitment to create a production innovation ecosystem in the Basque Country,” said Javier García, Managing Partner of Columbus Venture Partners.
“We are very excited to back Cocoon; the market opportunity is massive, and we can leverage a unique technology as well as a top-tier management team we have assembled, led by Joshua Robinson (Stanford PhD) and Romy Dalton (former COO of Algenex)” said Nicola Zambon, Managing Partner of Cleon Capital.
“Cultured meat represents an exceptional opportunity to face the challenge of providing a sustainable diet to a population of more than seven billion people. To produce cultured meat is key to have growth factors that reduce costs and allow the industrialization of the process to be accessible on a large scale” commented Iñaki Recalde, Chief Diversification and Technology Officer at Viscofan.
About Cocoon Bioscience:
Cocoon Bioscience is a biotechnology company, founded in 2022 and with headquarters in Bilbao with R&D facilities in Madrid, that specializes in the manufacturing of high-performance growth factors for the alternative protein industry as well as enzymes for the healthcare industry. Cocoon Bioscience’s manufacturing process relies on a patent-protected, automated platform leveraging cocoon as a low-cost bioreactor. By replacing highly engineered steel bioreactors with the simple, humble cocoon, Cocoon Bioscience can offer proteins and enzymes at significantly lower prices without sacrificing performance, relieving critical cost bottlenecks in applications that span from cultivated meat production to mRNA synthesis. Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (Santander CIB) advised Cocoon Bioscience in the funding round. Cocoon Bioscience was also assisted by Innovatech Law Firm in the funding round.
For more information, please visit www.cocoonbioscience.com
About Columbus Venture Partners:
Columbus Venture Partners is a Spanish venture capital firm that brings a unique approach to investing in outstanding opportunities in all stages of (bio)pharmaceutical drug development and advanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. Columbus VP manages over $250 million between its three funds and has built an impressive track record of performance with recent successful divestments in Viralgen, Askbio, PTS, Sanifit or Recovid among others. Columbus’ professional team combines strong scientific, medical and business expertise with extensive experience in the field of corporate biotechnology.
For more information, please visit www.columbusvp.com
About Cleon Capital Advisors:
Cleon Capital is an independent firm with a presence in Spain and Italy that works with entrepreneurs, managers and investors to help them develop successful business projects, providing them with solutions that combine flexible capital in amount and terms with corporate development services.
Cleon Capital is backed by approximately 50 family offices and successful entrepreneurs primarily from Spain and the rest of Europe. Cleon Capital currently participates in four companies, two in Spain (Grupo Dagu and Cocoon Bioscience) and two in Italy (Gias and Labomar, a company listed on the Italian stock market). In all projects, Cleon Capital actively collaborates with founders and managers to accelerate the development of their companies, with particular emphasis on international expansion and growth through acquisitions.
For more information, please visit www.cleoncapital.com
Viscofan is a public company listed on the Spanish Stock Market (SIBE: VIS), and its mission is to satisfy the needs of the world food industry through casings, an essential ingredient for the food sector when it comes to producing sausages, cold meats and other foods. Thanks to the work and passion of its team, the Viscofan Group is currently the international leader in casings for meat products with distribution in more than 100 countries around the world, generating sustainable value for its stakeholders. In 2022 Viscofan achieved revenues of 1,201 million euros and a net result of 139 million euros.
For more information, please visit Viscofan on www.viscofan.com or LinkedIn
About Gestión de Capital Riesgo del País Vasco, SGEIC, S.A.:
Gestión de Capital Riesgo del País Vasco is a management company of venture capital entities founded in 1985 by the Basque Government through SPRI to promote and develop Venture Capital activity in the Basque Country.
Its purpose is to stimulate the Basque industrial fabric, participating in the capital of Basque companies on a temporary basis. It invests with special emphasis on entrepreneurial projects with a high innovative component, projects aligned with European RiS3 strategies, and projects that promote the internationalization, growth, and innovation of Basque companies.