Irish biotech Nuritas bags $45m to expand and build US headquarters

11 Nov 2021

Nuritas founder and CEO Dr Nora Khaldi. Image: Nuritas

Nuritas CEO Dr Nora Khaldi said that the funding will be used to improve its peptide-finding platform and build its new US headquarters.

Nuritas, a global biotech company based in Dublin, has just raised $45m in Series B funding led by Chicago-based VC firm Cleveland Avenue.

This brings Nuritas’s total funding to date to $75m and will be used to accelerate the company’s ongoing global expansion, including the establishment of a US headquarters. A €16m Series A round in 2017 helped the AI and genomics company first take its business global.

“It has been a landmark year, resulting in the expansion of our peptide portfolio, growing the commercial team and developing key global partnerships,” said Dr Nora Khaldi, founder and CEO of Nuritas.

Other investors in the Series B round include Grosvenor’s Wheatsheaf Group, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, Singapore-based Vertex Holdings and Nutresa Ventures. Existing investors Cultivian Sandbox Ventures and VisVires New Protein also participated.

Some of Nuritas’s early backers include Bono and The Edge from U2, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and tech entrepreneur Ali Partovi.

“Our new investors bring a wealth of invaluable expertise, and this latest round will help to build our US headquarters, continue to expand our team, scale our platform to discover more life-changing ingredients and accelerate our route to market,” added Khaldi.

AI platform

Nuritas has created an AI platform that helps clients discover peptides. Peptides are molecules in plants and natural food sources that can be used as ingredients to improve health. However, these bioactive molecules are very hard to find and that is where AI kicks in.

The Irish company’s proprietary AI platform has peptide-finding applications across a range of products, including functional foods, supplements, medical food and even cosmetics.

Some of its major customers in the food and health industries include Nestlé, Mars, Sumitomo and Pharmavite, a California-based vitamin and supplement manufacturer it struck a deal with in 2019.

As a result of the funding round, two new members will be joining the Nuritas board of directors. These are Randall Lewis, managing director of Cleveland Avenue, and Stephan Dolezalek, executive director of the Wheatsheaf Group. Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, is also joining its advisory board.

“Nuritas is led by a talented team and its AI-powered, peptide-discovery platform is a novel and proprietary platform technology that offers unprecedented value to the future of our health and our planet,” said Lewis. “We anticipate Nuritas will become a global ingredient powerhouse and a partner of choice for companies around the world.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic