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As demand for animal-free milk and dairy products rises, Israel’s Imagindairy closes a robust seed round for its precision fermentation milk technology.
Completing its seed round, Israeli-based dairy identical food tech brand Imagindairy, Ltd., has raised $13 million. The round was led by MoreVC, a leading seed-stage investor in Israel; Strauss Group; Entrée Capital; S2G Ventures; Collaborative Fund; New Climate Ventures; Green Circle Foodtech Ventures; Emerald Technology Ventures; and Pierre Besnainou. The funding builds on its pre-seed raise led by Strauss Group, FoodSparks by PeakBridge, CPT Capital, and Entrée Capital. The raise will help the brand expand its research, team, and commercial offerings.
“We are excited to share this news with our partners and colleagues,” Eyal Afergan, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy said in a statement. “The market is eager to develop new dairy analogs based on our animal-free proteins.”
The demand for dairy alternatives continues to grow as consumers seek healthier and more sustainable options. Imagindairy’s capabilities of replacing resource-intensive animal-based dairy attracted investors.
“We evaluated Imagindairy’s proprietary, deep-tech platform and immediately recognized its huge potential,” said Eran Bielski, General Partner at Entrée Capital. “Imagindairy successfully addresses the biggest limitation of precision fermentation technology—cost-effective animal-free milk protein production.”
For Strauss Group, the company “ticks all the right boxes,” according to Eyal Shimoni, CTO for Strauss Group. “This is innovative technology that can help solve world hunger in our growing population; it’s a solution that is green and animal-free. We at Strauss group, one of the leading dairy companies in Israel, identified the potential in this start-up in the early stages and have confidence in its managers to help lead the alt-protein revolution toward a better, more sustainable future.”
Dairy identical milk
Imagindairy works similarly to the U.S.-based Perfect Day Foods to make dairy-identical milk proteins using precision fermentation. Imagindairy relies on 15 years of research by its co-founder and CSO, Tamir Tuller, PhD and professor at Tel Aviv University.
The technology relies on microorganisms, which are 20 times more efficient than cows at converting feed into food. Biofermentation reduces the greenhouse gas emissions produced by dairy cows. This, Imagindairy says, creates food system resilience and allows for “complete sustainability” as well as preserving ecoystems, and supporting animal welfare. All of this with a product that, for all intents and purposes, looks, functions, and tastes just like dairy milk.
Like cultivated meat consumers may still have questions about how precision fermentation works. But they’re lapping it up—Perfect Day’s ice cream brand Brave Robot just sold one million pints.
“Once we reach commercialization, more consumers will be able to enjoy eating animal-free dairy products,” says Afergan. “It’s hard for people to make big changes, especially when it comes to the foods they enjoy, but when there’s an alternative with the same flavor and experience that is more aligned to their values, it becomes easy.”
Lead image an_vision/Unsplash