German biotechnology company Insempra has raised US$20M in funding to expand production of yeast-fermented lipids for food and cosmetics.

Following an initial US$15M seed round in 2021, the latest financing round would enable the company to continue building a technology platform to produce sustainable ingredients for a range of industries and support the scale-up of its manufacturing capabilities, Insempra said on 7 May.

In collaboration with leading consumer brands, the company produces lipids for cosmetic and food applications.

In its development of lipid compositions for beauty and personal care applications, the company mimics existing fatty acid profiles and properties, using its patented technology to process forestry and agricultural side streams.

In addition, the company said it was also developing technology to offer bio-based alternatives to everyday materials such as polymers and textiles and creating new natural molecules for use in functional ingredients, such as antioxidants, preservatives, flavours and fragrances.

“We will continue to expand our capacity to develop … sustainable materials that … will reduce our dependency on chemical industrialisation processes,” Insempra founder and CEO Jens Klein said.

Insempra uses a range of second-generation feedstocks in its production process such as lignocellulosic biomass (crop residues), forest waste and non-food oil-rich plants.

Using a fermentation process similar to the process used in brewing beer or the culturing of cheese, the company uses micro-organisms and natural ingredients such as sugar, salt, water and alternative second-generation feedstocks to produce natural ingredients.

The company said its speciality health oils contained a high level of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.