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Remilk, an Israeli startup that produces animal-free dairy products using fermentation technology, has bagged US$11.3 million in a Series A funding round to accelerate its production and distribution plans. The Tel Aviv-based company says that with the capital, it will soon be able to bring its molecularly identical dairy products that are produced without a single cow to market and disrupt the “reinvent” the carbon-intensive dairy industry.
Remilk’s latest US$11.3 million Series A financing was led by Israeli early-stage venture fund Fresh Fund and attracted a number of renowned alternative protein and startup investors, including CPT Capital, OurCrowd, ProVeg and major food manufacturers such as Hochland, Tnuva and Tempo. Notably, co-founder and former managing director of Berkshire Partners Bradley Bloom also joined the round alongside other angel investors.
Today’s non-dairy alternatives address environmental and health concerns, but universally fail to create authentic dairy-based products, like cheese. We’re bridging this gap by making dairy products with dairy proteins, without needing a single cow.Aviv Wolff, Co-Founder & CEO, Remilk
The company’s use of microbial fermentation technology enables the production of animal-free and cruelty-free dairy products that are indistinguishable from its animal-based counterparts. Unlike plant-based dairy products that use crops like soy, oats and almond to create an alternative, Remilk says that its dairy alternatives are molecularly identical to real milk, which means no compromise on taste, texture and nutrition while still delivering significant environmental savings.
“Today’s non-dairy alternatives address environmental and health concerns, but universally fail to create authentic dairy-based products, like cheese. We’re bridging this gap by making dairy products with dairy proteins, without needing a single cow,” explained Remilk co-founder and CEO Aviv Wolff.
According to the startup, its fermented dairy requires only 1% of the land use, 4% of feedstock and 10% of the water required compared to conventionally produced dairy. From a health standpoint, Remilk says that its alternatives contain zero cholesterol, antibiotics or growth hormones, making it nutritionally superior too.
Remilk’s latest funding will help accelerate the production of its microbial fermented dairy building blocks, which can then be used to develop a range of animal-free dairy products from milk to cheese, yoghurt and cream.
“Our proprietary technology delivers the most authentic animal-free dairy product in the market today and is identical to natural dairy. With our new partnerships for production and distribution, we’ll soon be ready to reinvent this multibillion-dollar industry,” said Wolff.
The US$442 billion global dairy industry, already under pressure from changing consumer tastes due to sustainability concerns, have been dealt a further blow recently amidst the coronavirus-related supply chain disruption in what experts have described as an existential crisis for big dairy.
With our new partnerships for production and distribution, we’ll soon be ready to reinvent this multibillion-dollar industry.Aviv Wolff, Co-Founder & CEO, Remilk
Zaki Djemal, managing partner at Fresh Fund, added: “Protein alternatives to meat and dairy are gaining global traction with both consumers and producers taking notice of the environmental, health-related and efficiency benefits they present. We see significant market potential for Remilk’s unique technologies across categories and we’re thrilled to have been the company’s first investors.”
Remilk’s funding news comes on the heels of multiple high-profile financing rounds completed by startups within the up-and-coming fermentation sector, most notably Perfect Day’s US$300 million Series C that propelled the startup towards launching a new ice cream brand made with its dairy proteins developed using precision fermentation. Perfect Day has since made headlines again with Disney chairman Robert Iger joining its board.
U.S.-Australian startup Change Foods, the only precision fermentation food tech with a base in Asia-Pacific, has also attracted investment of late, closing an oversubscribed US$875,000 pre-seed round to speed up the development of its animal-free cheese prototypes.
Lead image courtesy of Remilk.