EMERYVILLE, CALIF. — Plant-based ingredient startup Shiru raised $17 million in a Series A funding round led by S2G Ventures, with participation from returning investors Lux Capital, CPT Capital, Y Combinator and Emles Venture Partners. New investors The W Fund, SALT and Veronorte also participated in the round, which brings Shiru’s total funding to more than $20 million. 

Founded in 2019, the Emeryville, Calif.-based company combines a precision biofermentation process with machine-learning algorithms to discover and create novel plant-based food ingredients, starting with proteins. 

Shiru’s plant-based proteins are categorically different from conventional legume-based additives, according to the company. They replicate the taste, texture, gelation, foaming, emulsification and binding abilities of animal proteins and may be used in a variety of products, from packaged baked foods and sauces to burgers and yogurt.  

“The global food industry is well aware of the voracious demand among consumers for sustainable food, as well as the sector’s immense power to help solve our climate crisis,” said Jasmin Hume, founder and chief executive officer of Shiru. “Shiru’s goal is to make it simple and cost-effective for every food company, from multinational conglomerates to innovative startups, to do the right thing for people and the planet.”

Shiru will use funds from the Series A round to build out its team, which spans basic science and fermentation to marketing and business development. It currently employs 22 people and plans to at least double its workforce within a year. The company also will move into a new headquarters in Alameda, Calif., early next year and start scaling up manufacturing.