Novo Holdings, the holding company of Novo Nordisk Foundation, has announced an initial investment in Danish food technology start-up MATR Foods, to help expand its production of sustainable meat alternatives.

Established in Copenhagen in 2021, MATR develops organic plant-based meat alternatives using traditional fungal fermentation techniques.

The company uses locally sourced organic ingredients, such as oats, split peas, lupins, beetroots, and potatoes, turned into patties and mince with a juicy texture and meaty flavour.

MATR offers a meat alternative that is tasty, nutritious, and sustainable, without the need for additives or heavy processing.

Its fungi products are currently available at Gasoline Grill, Sticks n’ Sushi, Mother Pizza, Sokkelund Brasserie, Meyers canteens and, among others.

MATR CEO Randi Wahlsten said: “We have been extremely well received by chefs and consumers alike to the point where we are experiencing a much higher demand than we can currently supply.

“We are therefore very excited to have Novo Holdings joining us now to really accelerate the journey by scaling up our production and expanding our customer base.

“We share a clear vision of creating a truly impactful international food business based on our sustainable, clean fungi food technology.”

MATR offers Fungi Mince, made from natural ingredients grown in Scandinavia. The product is rich in protein and fibre, low in fat, and has an amino acid profile similar to meat.

It has a carbon footprint of just 1.4 kg CO2 e per kg, which is 94% lower than that of beef.

Currently, MATR is serving several B2B contracts with restaurant chains in Denmark, including Gasoline Grill and Sticks & Sushi and with the online supermarket.

The new financing is expected to help MATR scale up its production capacity to address growing demand from both existing and new customers.

Novo Holdings planetary health investments partner Thomas Grotkjær said: “MATR has managed to develop a product that tastes great, is highly nutritious and has a strong sustainability profile.

“I am very pleased with the opportunity to contribute to the scaling-up of MATR Foods and thereby offering end-consumers a new product that combines the savoury experience we know from meat with the health and sustainability benefits of a plant-based diet.

“Further, I am excited about the collaboration with Randi and the MATR team whose attributes encompass a very strong drive anchored in gastronomy, science and entrepreneurship.”