Gilbert + Tobin's venture capital practice, G+T Ventures, is proud to have advised precision fermentation start-up Cauldron on its successful A$10.5 million series seed funding round – one of the largest seed funding rounds ever by a female-founded start-up in Australia. The funding round was led by Main Sequence and Horizons Ventures, with participation by the University of New South Wales.
Founded by Michele Stansfield, a fermentation scientist with over a decade of experience in the field, and David Kestenbaum, former general partner at ZX Ventures (AB InBev’s corporate venture capital arm), Cauldron plans to use the funds to expand operations to conduct large-scale precision fermentation in Australia.
Precision fermentation is a process which uses yeasts, fungi and other micro-organisms to synthesise compounds and can be used to create ingredients such as proteins, fats and fibres, which can be used for a range of applications including food and medicine production. Precision fermentation is used by several synthetic biology companies to produce innovative products like animal free “milk”, plant-based “meats” and biodegradable plastics alternatives.
Lawyer and Head of G+T Ventures Xavier Keary advised Cauldron on all aspects of the funding round, with assistance from lawyers Muli Zhou, Henry Simpson and Matthew Pope. Xavier commented, "We are really proud to have been able to assist Michele and David on this funding round. CSIRO has predicted that precision fermentation will become a $700 billion industry by 2040 and Cauldron has the potential to be a key player in this industry, both in Australia and globally. This is another great example of an Australian start-up building Australia’s strategic capabilities in an emerging industry which is key to both addressing climate change and ensuring global food security.”
As part of the funding round, Cauldron acquired certain assets from Australian bioscience company Agritechnology. G+T Ventures also advised Cauldron on the acquisition.