Daisy Lab Closes a $1.5 Million Seed Round to Redirect Dairy-Dependent New Zealand

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The New Zealand-based women-led precision fermentation start-up, Daisy Lab, has successfully closed an oversubscribed Seed funding round.

The NZD $1.5 million (USD $930,000) Seed investment was led by The Values Trust, Icehouse Ventures, and Outset Ventures. Daisy Lab says it will use the funding to scale up production of its microbial whey protein and continue its research into caseins.

Dairy-identical protein

Daisy Lab aims to use its technology to produce high-quality, dairy-identical proteins without the need for cows in order to deliver dairy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water use. Animal agriculture is currently New Zealand’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Daisy says the technology has the potential to revolutionize the food industry and address some of the planet’s most significant challenges, such as climate change and food insecurity.

“We are thrilled to have closed our seed funding round and are grateful for the support of The Values Trust, Icehouse Ventures, Outset Ventures, Even Capital, and our other investors, among whom are a number of experienced angel investors like Paul Davidson, Serge van Dam and Adam Clark,” Daisy Lab co-founder and CEO, Irina Miller, said in a statement. “This funding will allow us to accelerate the development of our precision fermentation technology and bring our innovative products to market quicker.”

New Zealand has a long history of dairy innovation, said Emily McIsaac, Daisy Lab co-founder and Operations Manager. “We are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with the food industry and contributing to the transformation of our global food system”.

“We have an ambitious vision for the future of food production, and this funding will help us get there faster,” said Dr. Nikki Freed, co-founder and Chief Science Officer. “We are excited to continue developing our technology and bringing our innovative products to market.”

Daisy Lab team

According to Sarah Park, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Even Capital, Daisy Lab’s all-female founder team has the “enviable combination” of domain-expertise, scientific pedigree, and grit. “The company’s infographic, depicting 80 dairy cows being replaced by one precision fermentation tank to produce dairy-identical proteins, was a hugely impactful and enlightening moment. As investors, they are looking for solutions that can meet global demands as well as having a positive environmental impact.”

The Daisy Lab team
The Daisy Lab team | Courtesy

Precision fermentation is a rapidly growing field that allows companies to produce high-quality proteins and other biomolecules without the need for animal agriculture. Daisy Lab joins category leaders including Perfect Day and Remilk in developing novel ways to produce dairy-identical proteins using precision fermentation.

The raise comes as the company announced the appointment of Leon Clement as the Board Chair. Clement has more than 20 years of experience in the traditional dairy industry, having held senior leadership positions in consumer products and dairy manufacturing across multiple geographies. He will work closely with Daisy Lab’s leadership team to provide strategic guidance and support as the company continues to grow and innovate.


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