REDUCED secures €6 million to scale natural food ingredients business

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 4 April 2024: Rockstart, global early-stage accelerator-VC, announces its co-investment in REDUCED, a Rockstart AgriFood portfolio company. The € 6 million round was raised from a range of investors, including new investors Novo Holdings and the Nordic flavor house Einar Willumsen, as well as existing investors EIFO and Rockstart. The startup will use the funding to further develop its technology platform, broaden its portfolio of savory ingredients, secure production capacity, implement certifications, and increase sales and marketing efforts. 

REDUCED, a Copenhagen-based company that uses fermentation technology to transform food and agriculture industry side streams into natural food ingredients, was founded in 2020 by William Anton Lauf Olsen & Emil Munck de Voss. The company has developed proprietary processes using novel fermentation technology to extract unique umami flavors from food industry side streams at a lower cost through expedited processing, with a lower  CO2 impact. 

Rooted in gastronomy, REDUCED’s Head of Research & Development, Lorenzo Tirelli, and Head of Product, Bram Kerkhof, previously worked in the fermentation lab of the internationally acclaimed Danish restaurant Noma, which was frequently rated as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (1). 

REDUCED’s technology enables the extraction of savory umami flavors from both vegetable and animal side streams, using fermentation to convert them into clean-label ingredients. The global market for savory food ingredients is estimated to be worth more than € 31.5 billion, and € 8.8 billion for global clean-label savory flavorings (2).  

REDUCED offers a wide range of products including organic chicken stock concentrates made from retired laying hens and stock concentrate made from vegetables that don’t meet the strict appearance or size criteria of supermarkets. They also produce fermented umami sauces which add complexity to food. Currently, REDUCED supplies over 100 food service businesses and collaborates with leading food ingredient suppliers to deliver ingredients to manufacturers.

This investment will be transformative for the company as we expand and extend the range of products we can offer, drawing on our gastronomic heritage to create unique flavors. Not only will this bring great new products to the market, but it will also help to reduce CO2 emissions and make the most of the side streams available in the food production chain. We are ready to continue the work we have started and accelerate the impact we can make on the food industry. Emil Munck de Voss, Co-Founder & CEO of REDUCED
REDUCED brings an exciting combination of strong Nordic cuisine and fermentation technology to the growing trend of sustainability in food production. With delicious natural products that are already in demand from over 100 customers, we are pleased to support the REDUCED team in their journey from innovative startup to industrial scale. Thomas Grotkjær, Partner, Bioindustrial Investments, Novo Holdings 
REDUCED has the potential to make a significant impact in the food ingredients industry and we want to be a part of that. We are impressed by the Company’s ability to convert technology to commercial products and their approach to flavor creation. In Denmark, we have a tradition for creating high-value food ingredients companies, and we strongly believe REDUCED could be the next one.  Jan Grøndal, Chief Executive Officer, Einar Willumsen 
We are delighted to make our fourth investment in REDUCED. As an early stage investor, Rockstart’s additionally is investing in impactful early stage agrifood tech startup teams when others may hesitate to take the risk. REDUCED is a perfect example of why we do it—Emil, William, and their team are pioneering healthier and more sustainable ways of deriving flavors and ingredients. We're proud to continue supporting them on their journey. Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood Rockstart

Source: Innova market insights 2020


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Founded in 2020, REDUCED is challenging the flavor industry, by creating intense natural flavour solutions from side streams and surplus produce from the food and agricultural industry.  The Copenhagen-based company has developed unique fermentation processes, allowing the utilization of various side streams to create umami-rich flavor solutions. REDUCED's mission is to deliver flavour solutions with low carbon impact by repurposing side streams and providing cost-effective, natural, and flavour-rich food ingredients.

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novonesis A/S (Novozymes A/S) and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. 

In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure, and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, Asia, Bioindustrial, and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development.  As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 149 billion.

About Einar Willumsen A/S

Einar Willumsen is a Nordic flavor house with more than 123 years of experience. Ever since its establishment in 1901, EW has been practising its slogan: “When taste and speed matter”. The company uses nature’s recipes to create unique and authentic taste experiences for beverages, dairy, confectionery, and bakery industries, based on a strong skillset within e.g. Flavour creation, application technology, distillation, bio solutions, and extraction technology. On top of creating the perfect taste solutions and final applications, the company assists with e.g. regulatory and compliance assistance and is therefore a full solutions provider.

About Rockstart

Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies.

Rockstart invests in early-stage startups from each of the three funds and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates, and the wider Rockstart network.

Rockstart has invested in more than 350 startups and its alumni value to date is more than €1.6bn. Rockstart is an international team of 45+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such asWercker,, Hubs.Com, Bouw7, iClinic, and s and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Bogota.

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