Chickpea protein startup InnovoPro raised funds from Rabobank

InnovoPro, a developer of plant-based protein ingredients, has raised 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 startup has developed a proprietary extraction process to concentrate protein from chickpea for plant-based products. While chickpeas naturally contain some 20% protein, InnovoPro claims its product is a 70% chickpea protein concentrate.

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.”

Richard O’Gorman, Managing Director of Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund

Chickpea protein is process friendly for various applications such as baking, homogenising, extrusion etc. Some of the key technological aspects and benefits of the product are:

  • Emulsifying and foaming properties create a firm emulsion that stays stable during shelf life and forms a foam for producing airy gluten-free baked goods.
  • Water and fat binding generates a rich mouth-feel and increases the viscosity of the product.
  • Usable in cold and warm applications.

“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.”

Taly Nechushtan, InnovoPro CEO

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.

Applications of its concentrate protein include egg free mayonnaise, pudding, vegan ice cream, non-dairy milk beverage, veggie burger, energy bar and baked snack. All these applications are clean label, GMO free, gluten free, dairy free and delicious.