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Maia Farms Secures $2.3M to Expand CanPro Mycoprotein Production

Courtesy Maia Farms
Courtesy Maia Farms

Maia Farms,  a Vancouver-based producer of mycoprotein, has announced it secured CAD 2.3 million ($1.7 million) in pre-seed funding to expand the production of its flagship product, CanPro. This milestone comes on the heels of Maia's win at the Deep Space Food Challenge, where it showcased CanPro's potential to revolutionize space nutrition and the global food system.

CanPro, a protein-rich ingredient made from mycelium, offers significant nutritional and sustainability benefits. With a protein content of 66%, CanPro also contains fiber, calcium, and five times more iron than beef. Its production requires only a tenth of the land needed to produce an equivalent amount of beef, making it a sustainable alternative to traditional protein sources. The ingredient has a neutral taste and offers umami afternotes, suitable for meat alternatives, protein bars, snacks, and other foods.

Funding to Drive R&D and Market Expansion

The funding round was led by Joyful Ventures, PIC Investing Group, and Koan Capital, with support from angel investors in the Creative Destruction Lab. Alongside this equity investment, the startup has received grant funding from several institutions, bringing its total raised funds to over $2 million. The Canadian Food Innovation Network, the National Research Council of Canada, MITACS, and the Canadian Space Agency are among the organizations backing the startup.

The funds will be used to expand CanPro across North America, enhance the process optimization and fermentation scale-up of the mycelium ingredient at two CDMO facilities, conduct core R&D in Maia's new mycology and fermentation lab in Vancouver, design and engineer a commercial-scale fermentation facility, and attract talent.

Gavin Schneider, CEO of Maia Farms, highlighted the importance of this funding in advancing the company’s fermentation approach and enabling it to make a meaningful impact in the food industry.

CEO Schneider said “This funding not only validates our fermentation approach but also strengthens our capacity to make a meaningful impact. We’re excited to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the food sector and to lead the way towards a more sustainable and nourishing future.”

Courtesy Maia Farms
Courtesy Maia Farms

Supporting a Climate-Positive Food System

Maia Farms employs biomass fermentation and bioreactor technology to cultivate mycelium using sugar from waste side streams, resulting in a dry, shelf-stable ingredient that can offer affordable nutrition at scale. The firm uses an edible mushroom variety instead of traditional mold strains, which CEO Gavin Schneider claims significantly improves yield while allowing the use of agricultural byproducts as feedstocks.

With its climate-positive potential, CanPro has garnered attention from the Canadian Food Innovation Network, the National Research Council of Canada, the SFU BC Centre for Agritech Innovation, MITACS, and the Canadian Space Agency. Jennifer Stojkovic, General Partner at Joyful Ventures, underscored Maia’s potential to make a significant impact:

“Not only were we impressed by Maia’s mycelium protein, but we especially resonated with the scalability and viability of their technological innovations. Mycelium has a bright future for a more climate-positive, global food system.” 

CanPro is commercially available in North America in ground, shredded, bite, and strip forms. Canadian manufacturer Big Mountain Foods is already incorporating the ground product into meatballs and burger patties.

Maia Farms is currently piloting two CDMO facilities to test the liquid fermentation process for growing mycelium, backed by the National Research Council of Canada. With its recent funding, Maia Farms aims to scale production to make CanPro a widely used and sustainable protein source, revolutionizing the food industry.


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