Today, new startup Sustainable Bioproducts announced that it raised $33 million in funding to aid in its mission of creating plant-based and lab-grown foods using a microorganism sourced from a volcanic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. “These extremophiles learned to be extremely efficient in using their resources,” Sustainable Bioproducts CEO Thomas Jonas said about the microorganisms, which contain all nine of the essential amino acids. “They are very relevant at a point in time when humanity already uses tremendous amounts of resources to support the highly inefficient animal-protein model.” The company isolates the microorganisms, feeds them glycerin and starches, and ferments them in a laboratory setting to create a base that can be used for various applications. Sustainable Bioproducts recently raised its Series A funding from a number of investment firms, including those led by business magnates Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, yogurt brand Danone, and agricultural giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. The company plans to use its funding to create prototypes that could include vegan dairy and meat products, and protein-rich additives to foods such as yogurt. “What we have here is a super protein,” Jonas said. “And it comes from one of the most pristine wild places on the planet.”

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