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Reshaping Biomanufacturing with Intelligent Fermentation Technology

Pow.Bio raises $9.5M to deploy the first-ever AI-controlled, continuous automated fermentation platform at scale
Biomanufacturing, Chemicals & Materials
Emerging Technologies
October 4, 2023

In the heart of Alameda, California, a revolution is brewing. Pow.Bio, a trailblazer in the realm of sustainable biomade products, has just secured a whopping $9.5 million in its Series A funding round. The round, led by the dynamic duo of Re:Food and Thia Ventures, saw participation from a star-studded list of investors, including the strategic corporate venture arm of Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Ventures, and other notable names like Possible Ventures, XFactor Ventures, and Better Ventures, to name a few.

At the core of Pow.Bio's mission is a challenge that has long plagued the synthetic biology industry: the steep costs of biomanufacturing. While the potential market impact of biomade products is projected to skyrocket to $4T by 2040, the reality remains that unless these products can be produced at a cost that rivals, or even undercuts, their petrochemical or animal-derived counterparts, only the crème de la crème of biomade products will ever see the light of day in the commercial world.

(Credit: Pow.Bio)

Peter Odemark of Gullspång Re:food, with a twinkle of excitement in his eyes, remarked, “From the get-go, we saw continuous fermentation as the golden key to unlocking cost-effective, sustainable food production. Partnering with Pow.Bio was a no-brainer for us, given their robust continuous platform, their stellar team, and their unwavering vision for a greener SynBio future.”

Echoing this sentiment, Hideshi Nakatsu from Hitachi, Ltd. shared, “Our commitment at Hitachi is to lend our expertise to burgeoning markets like Bioproduction.’s continuous fermentation platform is a game-changer in biomanufacturing economics, and it perfectly aligns with our aspirations to make a mark in the Bioproduction business.”

(Credit: Pow.Bio)

But what makes Pow.Bio's approach so revolutionary? Ouwei Wang, the brain behind Pow.Bio's continuous fermentation technology likens its process to an assembly line. “Imagine a fermentation process that runs seamlessly, without hiccups of contamination or drift. That's what we've achieved, and the results? A staggering increase in productivity,” Wang elaborates.

Pow.Bio's secret weapon? An AI-controlled software named SOFe. This software, in tandem with its state-of-the-art hardware, promises a five-fold surge in productivity, all while slashing capital expenses.

And for those eager to see this innovation in action, Pow.Bio is gearing up to unveil an avant-garde demonstration facility in Alameda. This facility is not just a testament to Pow.Bio's prowess but also a prototype for the large-scale production of a plethora of biology-based products.

Yet, there's a myth that needs debunking. Many argue that the key to cost-effective manufacturing lies in ramping up commercial-scale fermentation capacity. But Pow.Bio's CEO, Shannon Hall, begs to differ. “When people harp on about the 'capacity problem,' it feels like we're in the Emperor's New Clothes tale. The real issue isn't just about capacity; it's about unit economics. We need to pivot our focus to economic viability, underpinned by technical advancements in biomanufacturing,” Hall passionately explains.

The Pow.Bio Team (Credit: Pow.Bio)

For partners of Pow.Bio, this isn't just another technological advancement; it's a paradigm shift. Whether it's companies looking to bolster their bottom line or startups aiming to launch a product at a competitive price point, Pow.Bio's platform might just be the magic wand they've been searching for.

Hall concludes, “Our technology is a game-changer. Not only can we ramp up capacity without breaking the bank, but we can also produce products that are easier on the pocket. This means a broader spectrum of products can finally make their debut in the market.”

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