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Indian startup Goodmylk is now gearing up to expand its plant-based dairy range after bagging $1 million in an extended seed round. Backed by major Indian angels and international funds, the startup will also ramp up distribution as demand for vegan dairy products continues to surge.
Goodmylk has announced today (September 6) the closing of its extended seed round with 73 million INR (US$1 million). The round saw participation from a number of Indian investors, including angels Jinisha Sharma, Aditya Agarwal and Victoria and Abhishek Shroff, as well as Angellist syndicate Ice Breaker.
International investors included alt-protein rolling fund Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV), as well as existing investor VegInvest Trust. The latest funding brings the company’s total capital raised to date to $1.8 million, after bagging its initial seed in 2020.
Expanding plant-based dairy
Goodmylk co-founder and CEO Abhay Rangan, who started the brand with his mother back in 2016, says the fresh funds will enable the company to scale up and expand its range of plant-based dairy products.
“We are excited to welcome on board more mission aligned backers to help scale India’s role in the massively transformational alternative proteins space,” Rangan shared. “We aim to help increase food security, and help everyone access more sustainable and ethical products that are good for all.”
Since its inception, the Bengaluru-based startup has shifted from its initial door-to-door service to become one of the country’s leading vegan milk brands with nationwide delivery. Its line of products include cashew-oat mylk, peanut curd, plant-based butter, spreads, dips and vegan mayonnaise, available on its own direct-to-consumer website and other e-commerce platforms including BigBasket.
While the company did not provide any specific details about planned future products, it said that the funds would go towards “expanding [our] product portfolio, in an attempt to make plant-based dairy functional and accessible to all in India.”
Earlier this year, Goodmylk partnered up with homegrown sustainable brand The Switch Fix to co-develop a new range of oat and cashew-milk based zero-waste shampoo bars, marking the startup’s first foray into personal care.
Ramping up distribution
Aside from extending its product portfolio, Goodmylk says the funds will also fuel its distribution across India, just months after strengthening its existing footprint in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Chennai.
Its presence has grown since onboarding additional team members, including CFO Radhika Datt and operations and sales lead Dhivakar Sathyamurthy.
Datt says the successful fundraise indicates that investors are bullish that plant-based dairy is set to grow, especially as consumers increasingly shift towards dairy-free options, driven by rising awareness of health, nutrition and sustainability.
“[It] signals the increasing acceptance of the plant-based space. Consumers can only make better choices when they are available and that’s what we’re here to do,” said Datt.
Vegan dairy market
While all plant-based food sales have grown significantly in recent years, the vegan dairy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry. Globally, the trend is driven by pioneering brands like Swedish oat milk maker Oatly, which made its IPO debut earlier this year, while India experiences a proliferation of homegrown startups offering local consumers dairy-free alternatives.
Aside from Goodmylk, other Indian startups focused on disrupting dairy include oat milk and chocolate makers MilkinOats, almond milk brand Sain and vegan protein beverage startup Strive by Plantbyte Foods.
For Varun Deshpande, managing director of GFI India, a nonprofit supporting the alternative protein ecosystem in the country, the rise of alt-dairy players will become a “major economic engine for India.”
“With a groundswell of entrepreneurship, research from eminent Indian universities in plant-based dairy foods utilizing our indigenous crops such as millets, and growing demand for these products, plant-based dairy foods show promise to be a high-growth portion of that portfolio and benefit farmers and consumers alike,” Deshpande explains. “Companies like Goodmylk are at the vanguard of this transformation, and we are glad to see investors show their support for Goodmylk and plant-based foods.”
All images courtesy of Goodmylk.