MeliBio Secures $5.7M Seed Funding to Disrupt the Global Honey Industry – vegconomist

MéliBio, the first company in the world to manufacture real honey without bees, announces a fundraising of 5.7 million dollars to market its first line of honey without bees. The round, led by Astanor Ventures, brings the startup’s total funding to $7.2 million to date.

The increase follows a successful test launch of MeliBio’s honey at four New York restaurants and a CPG company, and the startup will now begin scaling its operations and manufacturing. More than 30 companies around the world have already signed up to try its new honey, MelioBio says.


Give the bees a break

Founded in 2020 by Darko Mandich and Aaron Schaller, PhD., MeliBio uses precision fermentation and plant science to create its signature honey products. The brand conducted a blind industry taste test last October, where testers confirmed that its honey tasted the same as traditional bee-derived honey.

Making this product without bees is essential, says MeliBio, due to serious challenges facing the $10 billion global honey industry, including broken supply chains, price volatility, lower yields and quality control issues. The company hopes to provide its ingredient to food, drink and cosmetic brands looking to create more sustainable, vegan-friendly honey products.

Founders of MeliBio honey

Next generation honey

In addition to Astanor Ventures, the round included participation from existing investors Big Idea Ventures and 18 Ventures, as well as more than a dozen new investors, including Skyview Capital, XRC Labs, Collaborative Fund and Siddhi Capital.

“We are excited about MeliBio’s approach to building next-generation food technology that bridges plant science and precision fermentation,” said Christina Ulardic, Partner at Astanor Ventures. “Darko and Aaron are passionate about reducing pressure on the commercial honey bee supply chain and therefore improving pollinator diversity. We are quite impressed with their first product.

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“Sustainable and Delicious”

Darko Mandich, CEO and Co-Founder of MeliBio, said, “We know that science can produce delicious and nutritious honey, which is molecularly identical to traditional honey, at no cost to our precious bees… Together with our customers, we can make the best future for honey, both for humans and for bees.

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