The foodtech industry has supplied consumers with a healthy supply of animal-free animal products for years. Bee-io, a start-up that has developed a way to produce bee-free honey, is one telling illustration of the amount of money investors are willing to pour into the burgeoning market.
This week, the company entered into the early stages of an investment with an international investor who intends to put $30 million into the company. The identity of the investor has yet to be revealed, but according to Bee-io, it is “a company with international business that includes, among other things, activity in the US and Latin America.”
The two parties have signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding that represents the initial steps toward sealing the deal. It also includes the unnamed investor’s commitment to raise at least $6m. by means of a rights issue to the company’s existing shareholders.
Assuming the investment goes through, Bee-io intends to use the funds to advance its research activities, develop future products, establish a dedicated plant for the production and marketing of cultured honey in the US and accelerate the penetration of international markets and additional territories.
“This investor has an excellent reputation, extensive experience and international business, and the connection between the two parties will create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Bio-Honey CEO Ofir Dvash, whose surname is the Hebrew word for honey. “Combining forces with an international strategic investor will enable the company to grow rapidly [and] to take advantage of the significant opportunities we identify in the global market.”
“This investor has an excellent reputation, extensive experience and international business, and the connection between the two parties will create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”Ofir Dvash
Bee-io’s so-called “cultured honey” is produced under laboratory conditions using natural nectar derived from plants. Thanks to the company’s nectar production technique (a tightly held trade secret), the company is able to produce a remarkably wide range of honey varieties and strains, each with up to 100% of its nectar derived from a single type of plant.
In nature, it is almost impossible to produce honey that uses pollen from one type of flower. However, Bee-io is poised to break new ground, potentially offering products such as 100% eucalyptus honey (a variety that typically only contains 20% eucalyptus nectar) and more exotic varieties, including citrus or Manuka honey.
“I have no doubt that this investment, as it matures, will be one of the main moves that will lead to the creation of a very significant value for bio-honey in the coming years,” Dvash said, adding that it would allow his company “to realize even more strongly our vision of eliminating man’s nutritional dependence on the bee, releasing the bees into nature and producing accessible quality honey, anywhere and anytime, at a fair price for the consumer.”