Terviva Closes $54M in Financing to Commercialize Sustainable Food Ingredients, Launches Collaboration with Danone
ALAMEDA, Calif., May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Terviva, a food and agriculture company, announced today it has raised $54 million in equity capital to commercialize its highly-sustainable, new-to-market culinary oil and plant protein. Terviva expects to close an additional $24M in equity and debt capital this quarter, for a total of $78M in capital to drive its expansion.
This latest financing round was led by prominent investors in sustainable food and agriculture, including Astera Institute (led by Jed McCaleb), Evans Properties, Trustbridge Partners, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Ron Edwards (co-founder SoBe and Blue Buffalo Pet Food), Landis Becker Young and Brace Young (Chair of Social Finance), Mark Tercek (former CEO of The Nature Conservancy), Bryan Meehan (Executive Chair, Blue Bottle Coffee), Brent Magid (CEO of Magid, a leading global consulting firm) and Howard Fischer (Founder of Gratitude Railroad).
"We need environmentally friendly approaches to feed the world's rising population," says new Terviva board member Brace Young. "We can work with nature to reduce carbon emissions and produce more nutritious food, and Terviva is a prime example of such an opportunity."
Using natural, proprietary food processing methods, Terviva creates a golden-colored, buttery cooking oil and highly-soluble plant protein from the beans of the regenerative pongamia tree, which is far more sustainable than other oilseed crops commonly used today, such as palm and soy. Terviva works with farmers to plant pongamia trees on idle agricultural land that is often difficult to farm due to poor soil or water stress. On this type of land, an orchard of pongamia trees captures 115 metric tons of carbon per acre over 30 years, ranking pongamia among the the most sustainable sources of edible oil and plant protein.
"Terviva's pongamia-based food ingredients broaden access to healthy and environmentally sustainable foods that directly combat climate change," says Naveen Sikka, founder and CEO of Terviva. "With our food ingredients, we can feed the planet and heal it at the same time."
Concurrent with this financing, Terviva is embarking on a new collaboration with Danone, a global leader in plant-based products, essential dairy, waters and specialized nutrition. Danone and Terviva are working to develop new food products that utilize pongamia oil and plant protein. The collaboration illustrates the shared vision of Danone and Terviva to improve the environmental outcomes of the food system by supporting regenerative farming practices that improve soil health, water quality and biodiversity, while also improving social and market outcomes.
"We believe that healthy foods need a healthy planet with thriving ecosystems and strong, resilient social structures," says Merijn Dols, global director of open innovation & circular economy for food of Danone. "This is why we are excited to team up with Terviva to co-develop important ingredients – edible protein and oil -- from the pongamia tree, while also rehabilitating the soil the tree grows in."
Supporting this partnership is MISTA, a San Francisco based global innovation platform. MISTA's purpose is to transform the global food system to meet the needs of the future by leveraging collaborations between the largest food, ingredient, and technology players with the most innovative, early-stage companies in the world.
"The collaboration between Terviva and Danone brings to life a truly transformational, regenerative food solution," says Scott May, head of MISTA. "We're proud to have made this collaboration possible and to satisfy consumers' appetites for plant-based foods that are nutritious and sustainable for people and the planet."
Terviva will open a facility in the U.S. in 2022 to produce pongamia-based foods. Terviva's recently-formed advisory board has provided extensive guidance to the company on its commercial goals. The three members of the advisory board are: Vijay Advani, Chairman of the US-India Business Council and former Executive Chair of Nuveen; Joe Light, a 30-year food industry veteran who recently retired from Ingredion as Senior Vice President for Innovation; and Ann M. Veneman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (2001-2005), Executive Director of UNICEF (2005-2010), and Board of Directors, Nestle (2011-Present).
"Among the greatest global challenges is feeding the world's rising population sustainably and fairly," says former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman, "Terviva's innovations are expanding the options to create healthy, sustainable and accessible foods."
Terviva is a food and agriculture company that delivers tasty and nourishing plant-based food ingredients from the pongamia tree. We provide patented high-yielding trees and offer proprietary bean processing to create the world's most sustainable oil and protein food ingredients. Pongamia trees restore farmland to productive use, helping farmers feed people while taking care of the planet. Learn more at Terviva.com.