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Chickpea protein startup InnovoPro raises $15 million from investors

Company’s 70% chickpea protein concentrate can be used to boost content in vegan products like puddings, meat alternatives, ice cream, snacks

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Food-tech company InnovoPro's chickpea-based proteins (Courtesy)
Food-tech company InnovoPro's chickpea-based proteins (Courtesy)

Israeli food-tech company InnovoPro has raised $15 million in a B round funding, led by Israeli VC firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), to boost the production of chickpea protein.

Additional strategic investors in the round included Austrian investment firm Custos Privatstiftung; billionaire Wolfgang Leitner, the CEO of Andritz AG, an engineering solution company; and CPT Capital, a global food tech investor, as well as additional strategic and financial investors, the company said. Previous funders include Swiss retailer Migros.

The Rishpon, Israel-based startup will also use the funds to set up joint ventures for business development and marketing, the statement said.

InnovoPro is targeting an over $40 billion market that is seeking new kinds of protein ingredients to be used in alternative and more sustainable protein-rich products.

Food-tech company InnovoPro’s chickpea-based proteins can be used as dairy alternatives (Courtesy)

While chickpeas naturally contain some 20% protein, InnovoPro said its product is a 70% chickpea protein concentrate — a plant-based protein that can be used in a wide range of vegan products like puddings, meat alternatives, ice cream, high-protein chickpea-based snacks and vegan mayonnaise, to improve their protein content. The startup says its plant-based protein has not been genetically modified, is free of phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived estrogens, has no aftertaste and does not cause allergies.

Various products based on InnovoPro’s chickpea protein have already been launched in the USA, Europe and Israel, the startup said.

“The world needs new, innovative protein, alternatives to the milk and meat industry that exist today,” said JVP founder and chairman Erel Margalit in the statement. “Innovopro’s chickpea protein is a revolutionary product that plays an essential role in the food industry’s response to creating the next wave of plant based protein — replacing protein from animals.”

Over the past three years InnovoPro, founded in 2013 by Ascher Shmulewitz, has received a number of awards such as “Most Innovative Protein of the Year” at the Protein Summit in 2018, and “Most Innovative Startup in Israeli Food-Tech” in 2018. In 2019, InnovoPro was awarded the “Seal of Excellence” by the European Commission and was chosen to be a member in the EIT Food rising stars community, the statement said.

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