Alameda, CA-based Terviva, a food and agriculture company, said it has raised $54 million in equity capital to commercialize its sustainable, new-to-market culinary oil and plant protein. Terviva expects to close an additional $24 million in equity and debt capital this quarter, for a total of $78 million in capital to drive its expansion.
“We need environmentally friendly approaches to feed the world’s rising population,” says newly appointed Terviva board member Brace Young. “We can work with nature to reduce carbon emissions and produce more nutritious food, and Terviva is a prime example of such an opportunity.”
Using natural, proprietary food processing methods, Terviva creates a golden-colored, buttery cooking oil and highly-soluble plant protein from the beans of the regenerative pongamia tree, which it says is far more sustainable than other oilseed crops commonly used today, such as palm and soy.
Terviva works with farmers to plant pongamia trees on idle agricultural land that is often difficult to farm due to poor soil or water stress. On this type of land, an orchard of pongamia trees captures 115 metric tons of carbon per acre over 30 years, ranking pongamia among the the most sustainable sources of edible oil and plant protein.
“Terviva’s pongamia-based food ingredients broaden access to healthy and environmentally sustainable foods that directly combat climate change,” said Terviva founder and chief executive Naveen Sikka.
Concurrent with this financing, Terviva is embarking on a new collaboration with Danone, a global leader in plant-based products, essential dairy, waters and specialized nutrition. Danone and Terviva are working to develop new food products that utilize pongamia oil and plant protein.
“We believe that healthy foods need a healthy planet with thriving ecosystems and strong, resilient social structures,” said Merijn Dols, global director of open innovation and circular economy for food of Danone.
Terviva will open a facility in the U.S. in 2022 to produce pongamia-based foods.