Food Tech Company Mori (Previously Known As Cambridge Crops) Secures $12 Million

By Noah Long ● July 21, 2020
  • Mori — a food technology company that reduces waste and creates a more sustainable supply chain — announced that it has raised $12 million

Mori — a food technology company that reduces waste and creates a more sustainable supply chain — announced that it has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Acre Venture Partners. This round of funding included new investors Prelude Ventures, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, and ACCELR8 along with returning investors The Engine, Refactor Capital, Closed Loop Partners, Blindspot Ventures, and The Fink Family Foundation.

Formerly known as Cambridge Crops, Mori has developed technology that is extracted from silk using a water-based process and it has the unique ability to form a natural protective, edible, and tasteless barrier on a wide range of food items such as whole produce, cut produce, meat, fish, and processed goods. And Mori’s silk protein enables food to stay fresher for longer by preventing oxidation, improving water retention, and slowing microbial growth.

The naturally occurring protein forming the basis of the Mori’s protective barrier comes from Bombyx mori silk —which has evolved to protect life against the elements. And Mori has developed methods to give the same protection to food.

In the U.S., 40% of the food that is produced ends up getting wasted. And globally, food waste corresponds to an annual loss of $2.6 trillion. Mori is aiming to recapture that lost value and decrease the amount of food going to waste.

Mori has obtained Self-Designated GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status — which is set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — for its silk proteins to be used in a wide range of food applications. And the GRAS Self-Designation process acknowledges the acceptance of food and beverage ingredients and requires the approval of an Expert Panel.

Mori’s Expert Panel, made up of leading toxicologists, nutritionists, and allergists, unanimously concluded without reservation that the silk protein is safe for everyone to consume. And further certifications from the FDA and USDA are expected in the coming months.

Mori’s protein and its applications benefit from a strong intellectual property portfolio. And the technology is currently protected by 20 patents, 25 patent applications, and numerous trade secrets worldwide.

Mori is planning to use the funding to build out its manufacturing capabilities and continue to develop commercial partnerships in multiple food categories.

KEY QUOTES:

“We often ask ourselves about what we can enable by extending shelf life. There are major implications across food waste, food access, freight efficiency, food quality, and even the packaging we use. All unlocked with a single, naturally occurring protein.”

— Mori CEO Adam Behrens

“We’ve been impressed by the progress of the Mori team, and the flexibility of the technology sets them up as a very attractive solution for both food and agriculture companies. Food waste is an extraordinary challenge, both economic and environmental. Mori provides natural, well understood and cost effective solutions across various stages of the supply chain to combat waste.”

— Lucas Mann, Managing Partner at Acre