Posted by Richard Willet Posted on 17 June 2020

Bill Gates’ climate-change investment firm bets on lab-produced breast milk

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two of the best-known companies disrupting the food sector.

Now, the pipeline of alt-food companies includes Biomilq, a North Carolina-based start-up that’s targeting infant nutrition by attempting to reproduce mother’s breast milk in a lab.

While that may seem like a moon shot, Biomilq has just earned the backing of the world’s top investors, raising $3.5 million in Series A funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bill Gates’ investment firm focused on climate change.

Breakthough Ventures’ investing coalition includes Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Masayoshi Son, Jack Ma, Michael Bloomberg and Marc Benioff.

Biomilq co-founder and CEO Michelle Egger is a food scientist who worked on the Larabar at General Mills before moving onto business school and a stint at the Gates Foundation. She and her co-founder, CSO Leila Strickland, hope that the breast milk produced by Biomilq from culturing mammary epithelial cells will help reduce the carbon footprint from the global infant formula market, which Fortune Business Insights says will surpass $103 billion by 2026. The top infant formula manufacturers include Abbott Labs, Danone and Nestle.

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