C16 Biosciences Accelerates Expansion in the Food Industry with Recent Funding Boost for Palmless™ Production

C16 Biosciences, the creators of Palmless™, a sustainable alternative to palm oil, are intensifying their efforts in the food sector, driven by a generous $3.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a $1 million investment from Elemental Excelerator. The funding from the Gates Foundation will be allocated to expanding the Palmless™ platform, focusing on utilizing non-agricultural feedstocks to generate food-grade oils and fats. As the global edible oils industry is anticipated to reach $870 billion by 2050, C16 Biosciences aims to overcome the limitation posed by insufficient arable land for oilseed crops through its innovative biomanufacturing process, employing yeast in fermentation to produce oils and fats. The grant will empower the company to broaden its fermentation platform, utilizing next-generation feedstocks to establish a circular economy model for food production, reducing dependence on arable land. The three-year grant will facilitate the recruitment of additional research and development staff.

Shara Ticku, Co-Founder and CEO, expresses the company’s commitment to enhancing oils and fats for food applications, marking a strategic move after successfully scaling manufacturing to commercial levels and generating revenue in the personal care industry. C16 Biosciences has garnered recognition for its foray into the food category, winning the World Cell-base Innovation Award for “Best Cell-based Ingredient” on November 9th, 2023. In October, the company joined Elemental Excelerator’s Cohort 12, securing a $1 million award to advance food-related efforts towards FDA GRAS status.

While expanding into the food sector, C16 Biosciences remains dedicated to delivering innovative ingredients to its growing customer base in beauty and personal care. In early 2023, the company introduced Torula oil, a luxury bio-based oil for the beauty industry, featured in products like Palmless™ Save the F#$%ing Rainforest Nourishing oil and the REWILD Body Block, a collaboration with Pangaia and Haeckels, both of which sold out within 24 hours. The company is set to collaborate with numerous beauty brands to launch products Made with Palmless™ in early 2024.

Dawn Lippert, Founder & CEO of Elemental Excelerator, applauds C16 Biosciences for taking significant strides in scaling sustainable solutions, particularly in replacing palm oil, a major contributor to deforestation and indigenous community displacement. This collaboration exemplifies how innovation can reshape industries for the better.

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