Elo Life Systems, the next-generation ingredient company reimagining the future of food through molecular farming, has raised $24.5 million in its Series A funding round this week.
The financing was led by existing investors, including AccelR8, Novo Holdings and DCVC Bio. The funding will enable Elo to accelerate the development of its natural, plant-based sweetener products by advancing U.S. regulatory approvals, building pilot-scale processing capabilities, and market-testing its sweetener with consumers. Elo also expects to open a Series B financing round later this year to further scale and commercialize its sweetener products, and expand its R&D pipeline with additional healthy and sustainable ingredients.
"With strong investor support united behind Elo's commitment to improve human health and the environment, we're unlocking nature's abilities to make consumers' favorite foods more delicious, healthy and planet friendly," said Todd Rands, CEO of Elo. "Elo's first product – a new plant-based sweetener inspired by natural monk fruit – will eliminate excess calories in thousands of everyday food and beverage products that consumers love."
In addition, the company announced it achieved strategic product development milestones related to its monk-fruit inspired sweetener produced via watermelon, and its fungal-resistant cavendish banana that will save the popular variety from extinction. These products will now advance to real-world field trial evaluations in the U.S. and Central America. And its sweetener will proceed into advanced formulation and application development.
Elo's sweetener, intended for use in food and beverage products, is 300 times sweeter than sugar without the calories or undesirable aftertastes associated with other sweeteners. By enabling production in locally grown crops, such as watermelons, Elo's sweetener also reduces the environmental impact and costs of existing monk-fruit sweeteners that are imported from China. The company produces its sweetener using existing agricultural systems without requiring additional resources and eliminates waste by ensuring all harvested material is used.
Along with the completion of its Series A round, Elo also announced the appointment of Joan Braca as its first independent director. Braca brings to Elo decades of executive leadership and board engagements with ingredient-focused companies.
"This is going to be a pivotal year of growth for Elo," said Justin Kern, chairman of Elo's Board of Directors. "Joan's executive leadership and industry experience will provide a huge lift as Elo builds and evolves its business to supply healthy ingredients on a global scale."