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Elo Life Systems Announces Oversubscribed $20.5 Million Series A2 Funding Round

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Co-Led by DCVC Bio and Novo Holdings, Elo has raised a total of $45 million to date. New funding to expand Elo's pipeline of healthy, sustainable ingredients, and efforts to protect bananas and other staple crops from disease and climate change

DURHAM, N.C., January 24, 2024-- Elo Life Systems, the next-generation ingredient company reimagining the future of food, today announced its oversubscribed Series A2 financing round, raising $20.5 million.

The round was jointly led by DCVC Bio and Novo Holdings. They are joined by Hanwha Next Generation Opportunity Fund, AccelR8, and Alexandria Venture Investments. Elo has raised a total of $45 million to date. This latest round of funding will help the company further scale and commercialize its sweetener product; increase its molecular-farming pipeline of healthy and sustainable ingredients; and expand its crop protection and productivity efforts, including work to save the banana from extinction.

"At Elo, we're on a mission to unlock nature's abilities to make consumers' favorite foods more delicious, healthy and planet friendly," said Elo CEO Todd Rands. "With strong support from our investors, we're well positioned to scale up our production and stay on track to launch our first product in 2026."

Through its molecular farming platform, Elo produces sought-after ingredients that are difficult to harvest from natural sources and cannot be synthesized through artificial or other techniques. The company uses easy-to-grow crops as biofactories for these ingredients, enabling local, commercial-scale production while reducing their cost and environmental footprint.

"Molecular farming will allow our food system to meet the needs of the world's growing population while reducing the resources needed to produce nutritious food," said Stephen Van Helden, principal in the Bioindustrial Investments group at Novo Holdings US. "Elo's approach – together with cutting edge science and an experienced management team – is aligned with Novo Holdings' purpose to deliver scaled solutions for better societal and planetary outcomes."

Elo's first molecular-farming product is the "holy grail" of sweeteners – a natural, monk-fruit derived sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar without calories. Launching in 2026, it can be used in thousands of food and beverage products to reduce sugar and artificial sweeteners while enhancing nutrition. The company is also exploring the production of other ingredients, including novel proteins, natural preservatives, and high-value flavors and bio-actives.

"Elo's sweetener will be a major catalyst in the effort to lower sugar in our diets, improving human health and reducing the societal burden associated with chronic diseases," said Kiersten Stead, managing partner, DCVC Bio. "Meanwhile, their efforts to protect and improve the productivity of staple crops like the banana will have a meaningful impact on the food billions of people rely upon every day."

In addition to molecular farming, Elo is working with major companies and NGOs to protect staple crops around the globe from the effects of disease and climate change. This includes a partnership with Dole in the creation of a fungal-resistant Cavendish banana to save the popular fruit from extinction. Elo's banana proved successful in greenhouse testing and is currently undergoing field trials in Latin America.

About Elo Life Systems

Elo is reimagining the future of food – focusing on ingredients that empower consumers to feel good about the food they eat every day. From unique plant-based sweeteners to saving crops like the banana from extinction, Elo harnesses the untapped potential of nature to make food tastier, healthier and resilient while requiring less from the planet. To learn more, please visit www.elolife.com.

About DCVC Bio

DCVC Bio, based in San Francisco, backs companies building computationally advantaged or biologically transformative platforms with the potential to dramatically accelerate life science product development. DCVC Bio supports teams and science that treat diseases, provide nutrition to the planet, or produce sustainable alternatives to commonly used materials. Visit us at dcvc.com/bio, or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter @DCVCBio.

About Novo Holdings

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people's health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S and manages an investment portfolio, with a long-term return perspective. Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development. www.novoholdings.dk

Contact:
Media Contact:
Sofia Spieler
sspieler@elolife.com

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