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Novo Holdings Invests in Matr Foods: A Sustainable Future for Meat Alternatives

Courtesy of MATR Foods
Courtesy of MATR Foods

Life science investor Novo Holdings has announced an initial investment in MATR Foods, a Danish food tech startup innovating the sustainable food industry. MATR Foods leverages the power of mycelium, traditional fermentation, and upcycled vegetables to create innovative meat alternative products. This strategic investment aims to scale the startup’s production capacity and expand its market reach, aligning with Novo Holdings' commitment to sustainable and impactful investments.


MATR Foods and Its Flagship Product


MATR Foods, founded in Copenhagen in 2021, is at the forefront of addressing climate change, biodiversity, and health challenges through microbiology and gastronomy. The startup's flagship product, MATR Fungi Mince, is a low-fat, high-protein meat alternative offering an amino acid profile similar to meat. Remarkably, it has a carbon footprint 94% lower than beef, making it an environmentally friendly option for consumers.


Sustainable Production and High Demand


The innovative use of mycelium and traditional fermentation allows MATR Foods to transform locally sourced organic ingredients—such as oats, split peas, lupin, beetroot, and potatoes—into patties and mince with a rich umami flavor and firm texture. The mycelium acts as a natural binder, enhancing taste without the need for additives or artificial flavorings.


Randi Wahlsten, CEO of MATR, expressed enthusiasm about the reception of their products: “We have been extremely well received by chefs and consumers alike to the point where we are experiencing a much higher demand than we can currently supply. We share a clear vision of creating a truly impactful international food business based on our sustainable, clean fungi food technology.”


Scaling Up Production and Expanding Market Reach


MATR Foods currently supplies products to several Danish restaurant chains, including Gasoline Grill, Sticks’n’Sushi, and the online supermarket Nemlig.com. With the new capital from Novo Holdings, the startup plans to scale its production capacity and expand its customer base to meet the growing demand from both existing and new customers.

Courtesy of MATR Foods
Courtesy of MATR Foods

Support from Novo Holdings


Novo Holdings, a leading life sciences investor with total assets of EUR 149 billion as of year-end 2023, aims to invest in promising discoveries that can be translated into applicable biosolutions. As the controlling shareholder of pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk and biotech firm Novozymes, Novo Holdings strives to generate attractive financial returns while making a positive impact on society.

Thomas Grotkjær, Partner at Planetary Health Investments, Novo Holdings, commented on the investment: “MATR has managed to develop a product that tastes great, is highly nutritious and has a strong sustainability profile. I am very pleased with the opportunity to contribute to the scaling-up of MATR Foods and thereby offering end-consumers a new product that combines the savory experience we know from meat with the health and sustainability benefits of a plant-based diet.”


Innovations in Plant-Based Meat Alternatives


MATR Foods is part of a broader movement towards sustainable food innovation. Other companies in this space include the Swedish startup Millow, which uses oats and mycelium, and the US company Planetarians, which employs oil cakes and brewer’s yeast to create vegan meat alternatives. These companies, like MATR Foods, are leveraging fermentation and upcycled ingredients to produce nutritious and environmentally friendly food products.


Novo Holdings' investment in MATR Foods underscores the growing importance of sustainable and innovative food solutions. By scaling up production and expanding market reach, MATR Foods is well-positioned to meet the increasing demand for sustainable meat alternatives. This partnership not only promises attractive financial returns but also contributes to a healthier planet and a more sustainable food system.


The future of food is here, and with companies like MATR Foods leading the charge, the transition to sustainable, plant-based diets is becoming a reality.

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