Main Sequence Ventures has thrown its weight behind Nourish’s $11m funding round, which was co-led by Horizon Ventures.

Nourish Ingredients, an Australia-based developer of plant-based fats based on research at CSIRO, secured A$14m ($11m) in funding yesterday co-led by Main Sequence Ventures, the manager of the CSIRO Innovation Fund, and Horizons Ventures.

Founded in 2020, Nourish Ingredients has created a proprietary yeast fermentation process that produces the molecular structure of animal fats without requiring livestock or environmentally destructive crops such as coconut or palm oil.

The technology allows Nourish to make plant-based alternative proteins that reproduce the taste and texture of animal products such as pork, beef, chicken, fish, milk and cheese.

The company was co-founded by chief executive James Petrie, a research scientist at CSIRO, and Ben Leita, who was then a senior research scientist at the institute but has since taken over as manager of the Biorefining Research Facility at Queensland University of Technology.

Petrie and Leita previously worked on another spinout, Folear, and spent a year collaborating with Main Sequence Ventures partner Phil Morle on an investment case.

However, Folear’s technology to grow oil in the main biomass rather than just in the seed proved too scientifically complex, the regulatory process too gruelling and the supply chain too hard to penetrate, Morle said in a Medium post.

Main Sequence Ventures previously provided an undisclosed amount of financing to Nourish Ingredients in January 2020.

Global University Venturing previously spoke with Mike Zimmerman, also a partner at Main Sequence Venture, about the firm’s aim to invest in technologies that can help feed 10 billion people. It is available to download for free as part of our Talking Tech Transfer podcast.