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Rabobank invests in Israeli foodtech company InnovoPro

“We believe chickpea will be a leader in the next wave of non-animal protein sources,” says head of Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund

Meir Orbach 13:2329.10.20
Netherlands-based Rabobank is investing in Israeli company InnovoPro which develops technology for extracting concentrated protein from chickpeas, a legume commonly used for making the popular Mediterranean dish hummus. Rabobank’s investment is part of the company’s second, $3 million funding round, which will bring the company’s total capital raised to $18 million. The round, which was originally announced in April, was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners, with participation from European foodtech fund CPT Capital, iAngels, and Swiss retail giant Migros.

 

The investment in InnovoPro was carried out through the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabobank’s investment arm Rabo Corporate Investments and will further strengthen its presence in the plant-based protein market which is currently estimated globally at $40 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% to $75 billion by 2027. InnovoPro was part of a JVP delegation to the UAE this week, and the Emiratis expressed great interest in the company.

 

Innovopro’s CEO Taly Nechushtan. Photo: Orel Cohen Innovopro’s CEO Taly Nechushtan. Photo: Orel Cohen

 

“InnovoPro will use the additional funding to scale up operational capabilities through increasing production capacity and for further business development activities, including forming joint ventures with strategic partners. As part of our sustainable growth strategy, we will also use the added funding to explore production collaboration options for our protein and future products in the EU, to expand our EU supply chain capabilities,” said InnovoPro CEO Taly Nechushtan.

 

Founded in 2015 and based in Raanana, north of Tel Aviv, InnovoPro developed a proprietary extraction process to concentrate protein from chickpeas, a functional protein that can serve as a clean label enabler for plant-based products. The company was able to produce a 70% protein concentrate from chickpeas, with properties of a neutral taste, high functionality, and high nutritional values.

 

“In line with the more informed and sophisticated consumer, novel plant-based protein solutions are coming under greater scrutiny in the context of their nutrition and sustainability footprint. Chickpea with its high protein, fiber, iron, and other characteristics leads to a more nutritious alternative and allows for cleaner labeling with no need for the emulsifiers, enhancers, or masking agents necessary with competing analogues. Chickpea is a sustainable source, driven by crop characteristics such as comparatively lower water usage and carbon footprint with rotational qualities,” said Richard O’Gorman, Managing Director of Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund. “For these reasons, we believe chickpea will be a leader in the next wave of non-animal protein sources. We are therefore very proud to back InnovoPro, the strong market leader in the space, and look forward to scaling the company with an expert management team and strong group of investors.”

“The Covid-19 crisis has created a new reality, positioning food security as an essential need,” said JVP Founder and Chairman, Dr. Erel Margalit. “The significant decrease in world trade and in available employees on farms creates the need to be self-sustainable at all times. Additionally, the Covid-19 crisis has raised worldwide awareness of healthier foods and better food processing standards. This has increased the need for creative sustainable solutions and innovation in the changing world of what we eat. InnovoPro has become a leader in the Israeli food-tech industry and is on the path to becoming a world food-tech leader.”