Paris-based food tech company Standing Ovation has closed an oversubscribed €12 million Series A financing round to scale its animal-free casein and alt-cheese products. The new funding was led by Astanor Ventures, with participation from Peakbridge, Seventure Partners, Big Idea Ventures, and Good Startup, among others.
Standing Ovation’s Series A funding comes less than two years after the company launched. It’s leveraging the raise to scale its technology and output to meet the growing demand for animal-free cheese.
“Standing Ovation’s technology has a tremendous potential,” Frederic Paques, CEO of Standing Ovation, said in a statement. “However, bringing the products rapidly to the market requires significant resources, and substantial funding had become necessary. Astanor Ventures, which had already supported us at an earlier stage, understood it as did the other participants in this round. We would like to thank all our investor partners for their support and their confidence in the team.”
According to Romain Chayot, Scientific Director of Standing Ovation, in only two years, the company has developed a unique and highly technological process. “We are now in a strong position to build on this momentum and transition towards more logistically intensive stages, especially scaling up,” he said.
“Standing Ovation’s technology represents a paradigm shift for the animal-free dairy market,” Eric Archambeau, co-founder of Astanor Ventures, said. “Casein is the holy grail for the production of alternative options that match conventional products in nutrition, taste and texture yet it has remained notoriously difficult to create. The founders’ experience in biotechnology enabled them to find the key to casein development, a step ahead of many companies. We are greatly impressed by the team’s advancements over the past year both in product and process development and are excited to support them in this next step of their journey.”
Harnessing the power of casein
Standing Ovation says its process is “simple but innovative” and harnesses the power of casein without any animal material. Casein is what gives cheese its melting and stretching properties. It says it’s proven that its fermented casein can be combined with other products to produce “true replicas” of both fresh and soft cheese.
Last week, another Paris-based cheese startup, Nutropy, raised €2 million in a pre-seed round for its fermented cheese.
Both companies are targeting French cheese and the increasing demand for more sustainable options. The country has been championing sustainability in its wine production in recent years as the impact of climate change has taken a toll on wine producers.
Livestock production makes up about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and cattle is the leading livestock producer of methane, a greenhouse gas that traps more heat than CO2.