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Stockeld Dreamery, the Swedish food tech behind the fermented pea and fava bean-based Stockeld Chunk, has just raised €16.5 million (US$20 million) in what it says is the largest-ever Series A round secured by a plant-based startup in Europe. Proceeds from the round will go towards expanding its team, scaling up and rolling out new products, just months after the startup launched its flagship vegan feta onto the Swedish market.
Stockeld Dreamery has bagged €16.5 million in its Series A funding round, the largest of its kind for a European vegan startup. The round was led by existing investors Astanor Ventures and Northzone, and saw participation from new investors like Gullspång Re:food, Eurazeo, Norrsken VC, Edastra and Trellis Road. Stockeld also drew support from notable angel investors including Green Kitchen Stories founder David Frenkiel and SoundCloud founder Alexander Ljung.
It brings the Stockholm-headquartered startup’s total financing raised to date to nearly €20 million, following its initial €3.3 seed round in 2020. The company was formerly known as Noquo Foods, and decided to rebrand to Stockeld to better reflect its mission to “imagining everything that a creamery can and should be.”
Stockeld gears up for major expansion
In a post announcing the news, Stockeld’s head of strategy and special projects, Daniel Skaven Ruben, explained that the funds would fuel the startup’s major expansion ahead.
“In the last 12 months, we’ve expanded our team from 4 to 22 people. By the end of next year, we’ll likely be around 50 team members.” Just today, the firm announced four new members to the company, Miriam Elmberg, Etienne Nigg, Mugdha Kunte and Fredric Tapper.
“In 2022, we’ll move into a state-of-the-art headquarter and pilot production plant in Stockholm, Sweden, with enough room for 50 R&D colleagues and just as many in other functions,” Ruben continued.
Global expansion is on the horizon for Stockeld too, as well as extending its product portfolio. “We’ll release new products that we hope consumers will love. And we’ll expand our footprint beyond Sweden. Just to mention a few things,” said Ruben.
The funding news comes just months after Stockeld launched its flagship Chunk product on the market. In May, the company rolled out its realistic fermented pea and fava bean-based feta cheese alternative across retailers and select restaurants and cafés like Pom & Flora and BAK Bakery. The product has garnered rave reviews from consumers, including by Green Queen Media founder and editor-in-chief Sonalie Figuerias, who puts Stockeld Chunk among the “top three vegan cheeses” she has ever tasted.
Unlike other plant-based cheeses on the market that use cashews or almonds as its base, Stockeld uses fava bean protein and pea protein as its primary ingredients. Other ingredients include coconut oil, rapeseed oil, potato starch, natural aromas and starter culture to ferment its vegan cheese.
In terms of its nutritional value, Stockeld Chunk rivals the protein content of real dairy-based feta cheese, boasting 13 grams per serving, while also containing gut-healthy live microorganisms.
But it comes without the environmental impact and ethical issues related to real dairy cheese, which was the impetus for co-founders Sorosh Tavakoli and Anja Leissner to start the brand. According to FAO figures, global dairy production alone—not including meat—makes up 3.4% of the world’s GHG emissions. That’s more than aviation and shipping combined.
Vegan cheese market
Investors are keen to back vegan cheese startups like Stockeld, given the huge market opportunity and room for growth. While the entire plant-based industry has achieved record sales growth, vegan cheese is one of the fastest-growing categories of all.
Experts expect the global plant-based cheese market to nearly double from its current $2.7 billion to over $4.5 billion by 2025, driven by the astronomical rise in mainstream flexitarians. According to Euromonitor, 42% of global consumers now consider themselves flexitarians, otherwise known as part-time vegans who are actively reducing their meat and dairy intake.
Other plant-based cheese makers have also managed to secure successful rounds amid the bullish outlook for the sector. Just last month, plant-based artisanal cheese pioneer Miyoko’s bagged $52 million in its Series C, which will go towards supporting the launch of its new vegan liquid mozzarella cheese.
Misha’s Kind Foods, on the other hand, closed its seed round with $3 million, attracting several celebrities including Chris Paul, the NBA all-star known as CP3, as well as Jay Z, through his investment firm Marcy Ventures Partners.
All images courtesy of Stockeld Dreamery.