The seed funding was led by the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) with participation from Andrew and Nicola Forrest's agri-food business Harvest Road Group.
Rumin8 designs solutions to reduce methane emissions in agriculture. The company identifies naturally occurring compounds that have anti-methanogenic properties and says it reproduces them in an efficient, low-cost, scalable, and high-quality process to feed to livestock to reduce their emissions.
Responding to investor interest, Rumin8 conducted a Phase 2 seed round of funding, raising US$12 million to be spent on commercial trials in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the USA, product brand development, and pilot manufacturing plant development as Rumin8 moves towards commercialisation of its methane-reducing feed additives. Funds from both seed rounds totalled approximately A$25m.
Existing international climate fund investors in Rumin8, Australian-based Aware Super Sentient WA Growth Fund and US-based Prelude Ventures, both ‘topped-up' their shareholding in the Phase 2 seed round. Rumin8 is the first Australian-based BEV portfolio company.
"The demand for sustainable protein has never been more apparent, which is why BEV is keenly interested in reducing methane emissions from beef and dairy," said BEV's Carmichael Roberts.
"Rumin8 offers a low cost, scalable toolbox that has already proven to be effective in reducing emissions. Our team will support Rumin8 in working closely with farmers to expand the reach of this solution globally."
Harvest Road Group chief executive officer, Paul Slaughter, said Rumin8 complements the group's other investments in reducing the impact of agriculture on climate change.
"We are actively seeking solutions to reduce methane emissions in livestock supply chains, with Harvest Road supporting multiple emerging technologies focussed on methane reduction in ruminant animals," Slaughter said.
"Feed additives are an important pillar in our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and support our ambition to help solve the global methane emissions challenge."
Rumin8 managing director, David Messina, said Rumin8 had received considerable support from climate funds, and the Phase 2 seed round had closed over-subscribed.