Movac is excited to announce our lead deep-tech investment in Miruku, an alternative protein company. The company has recently completed a $3.5m seed raise, with Better Bite Ventures (BBV), Ahimsa VC, and Aspire NZ Seed Fund joining the round.
Miruku is developing a novel technique for producing alternative dairy proteins through a molecular farming platform. Miruku’s approach involves growing proteins directly in plants, where plant cells are recruited as mini-factories to produce proteins, fats and sugars that are normally only sourced from animals. The technology has the potential to make animal-free proteins more cost-effectively than the current techniques using microbial fermentation.

The Team

The four founding team members are the key part of our investment thesis. We consider them to be among the best in the world in their fields, both scientifically and commercially. CSO Oded Shoseyov is an expert in recombinant protein production in plants. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and holds 62 patents in plant sciences and genetics in agriculture. Oded is affiliated to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Plant Sciences and Genetics. Oded has strong mana and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside him.
Oded is joined by Harjinder Singh, who is a Director of the Riddet Institution in NZ and is an expert in dairy protein chemistry and formulation. Harjinder has published 350 papers and is a highly cited researcher in Agricultural Sciences.
Ira Bing is the Founder and Executive Chair. He is a life sciences entrepreneur and investor. Ira has been the driving force behind bringing the Miruku team together, connecting best-in-class scientists in Israel and New Zealand. Ira will be involved in the day-to-day operations as the Head of Strategy.
Amos Palfreyman is the CEO of Miruku. Amos has extensive experience in the emerging proteins sector both locally and internationally, having worked with Food HQ, Food Valley and Fonterra. We believe that Amos, Ira, Harjinder and Oded collectively are the right group of people to tackle this opportunity within the rapidly expanding alternative dairy protein market.

Aligning to Megatrends

Movac has been monitoring the alternative protein landscape and associated megatrends for a while. There is no question that the plant-based protein market is massive and one that will continue to grow at an extraordinary pace. Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Nature’s Fynd, NotCo, EatJust and Motif are just some of the alternative protein companies to have already reached unicorn status, and in several cases, before they have reached mass commercialisation. Miruku joins Nobell Foods, a leading player in the molecular farming space focused on producing cheese products from plant-derived proteins. The market will continue to be supported by meaningful and long-term market drivers including the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, calls for better animal welfare, as well as changing consumer preferences.

Movac has been looking for the right opportunity to be involved in the sector. Miruku clearly stood out due to the team, size of the market, as well as the potential to build excellent defensibility via a patent portfolio. Miruku also has powerful alliances with leading research organisations spanning multiple countries. Combined with Movac’s funding and experience we believe Miruku presents a strong force for good and an excellent addition to an increasingly diversified portfolio.

Mihi: The NZ VC village

Thanks to Ira for inviting Movac into the deal and for pulling together the founding team. A big thanks to Amos for all his work supporting the DD process. Many thanks to BBV, Aspire and Ahimsa for joining us in the round, as well as to the wider scientific community for choosing to be part of Miruku’s journey. Thanks to the wider Movac team for getting behind the deal. We are excited about Miruku’s potential and delighted to be on board.