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$5.7 Million in Seed Funding to Make Honey Without the Bees


$5.7 Million in Seed Funding to Make Honey Without the Bees

“We want to change the food industry in a way that we make food sustainable, nutritious and deliver it at no cost to our dearest animals, in our case, the bees,”, Darko Mandich, co-founder of MeliBio stated to be the vision for MeliBio.

Mandich, a former bee-honey industry executive and Aaron Schaller, started the San Francisco-based company in 2020. The idea for MeliBio came to Mandich, when he came across an article suggesting that keeping honey bees in bee hives was actually killing the 20,000 wild and native bee species due to the loss of a diversity in the bee population. 

MeliBio came up with two ways to make the honey without bees: 

  1. Using plant science to understand how bees access the plants, and what they get from them in order to make the honey. 
  2. How to improve upon the molecular composition to scale and make the product

Mandich has stated that MeliBio is first company to make real honey without bees. Their product havs been successfully tested in several restaurants in New York. Additionally, MeliBio is collaborating with 30 companies that have signed letters of intent to do validation studies. 

The company has raised $5.7 million in seed funding to expand into foodservice and business-to-business (B2B) applications. The new funding will be used to further research and development (R&D) and scale-up of its microbial fermentation process for product’s official launch in April. Beyond this, Mandich plans to look into the $500 billion ingredients market and how to leverage the company’s precision fermentation technology to share the future of that market.

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