Ekonoke secures €4.2 million investment to support sustainable beer production

Spanish start-up Ekonoke has closed a €4.2 million investment round led by agricultural innovation central of Corporación Hijos de Rivera, Cosecha of Galicia.

The investment is part of Cosecha de Galicia’s commitment to innovation and sustainable regeneration. The round also included Leanox Impact Ventures, a German impact investment fund, and Alazady España, the family office of Spanish businessman José María Castellano.

A veteran of one of Edible Adventures‘acceleration programs, Ekonoke has developed a unique method of growing hops indoors hydroponically, which she says brings climate resilience and sustainability to a crop threatened by global warming.

A key ingredient in the production of beer, hops bring bitterness and aromas to beers. Production is currently concentrated in a few regions – mainly the United States and Germany – and the growing process usually requires specific climatic conditions, including an abundance of water and light as well as moderate temperatures.

According to Ekoneke, the increase in extreme weather events due to climate change leads to reductions in productivity per hectare of up to 30%.

Ekoneke combines the knowledge of its agronomists, chemists and biotechnologists with the traditional cultivation experience of the Cosecha de Galicia team. The company’s cultivation method does not involve pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and uses only renewable energy, with a water footprint 20 times lower than traditional methods.

Ekonoke plans to build a 1,000 square meter pilot plant in Galicia, before expanding commercially with a 10,000 square meter facility in 2024.

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