Remilk raises $120M for animal-free dairy

Dive Brief:

  • Remilk, an Israel-based company that makes animal-free dairy proteins by precision fermentation, raised $120 million in a Series B round, expanding its financial resources more than 10-fold. The round was led by Hanaco Ventures. Other investors include Precision Capital, Rage Capital, CPT Capital, Intercap, OurCrowd, Aliya Capital, Chartered Group, Indorama Ventures, Tal Ventures, Fresh Fund, Idan and Gil Ofer, Izaki Ventures and Paradigm Shift Fund.
  • The funding will allow Remilk to scale its production of animal-free dairy proteins for commercial use in products including ice cream, cheeses and yogurt. Remilk already has set up production facilities in Europe and the U.S., according to The Times of Israel.
  • Remilk is one of a handful of companies worldwide that uses fermentation to create dairy proteins without cows. Others include Perfect Day, New Culture Foods and Change Foods.

Dive Insight:

While plant-based ingredients have taken a starring role in traditional dairy products like cheeses and are being used instead of cow-based counterparts in products like chocolate, the rise of companies like Remilk shows that another option is coming to the market soon. For consumers interested in sustainability and animal welfare — but able to consume dairy — animal-free dairy provides the taste and function of milk and cream with a much smaller carbon footprint.

“It is essential for the future of our planet that we liberate the food chain from dependency on animals. We do so by crafting real dairy that tastes and feels the same, minus the cow,” Remilk Co-Founder and CEO Aviv Wolff said in a written statement. “Our mission is bold, and support from these experienced and trusted investors demonstrates the power of Remilk to meet the moment. This funding propels us on our journey to transform the dairy category into one that delivers delicious, nutritious products without harm to people, planet, or animals.”

According to the written statement, Remilk is currently talking with dozens of companies about using animal-free dairy proteins in their products. This funding helps bring Remilk, founded in 2019, to the point where it will be able to enter the market as an ingredient provider. 

In the past year, other companies similar to Remilk have been able to scale, introducing animal-free dairy proteins to a variety of food items. The largest and best capitalized, U.S.-based Perfect Day, has raised $750 million to date. Its proteins appear in a variety of products, including ice cream, cream cheese, protein powder and cake mix. Many of these launched in 2021 and are produced by Perfect Day’s affiliated CPG arm, The Urgent Company. Big CPG partnerships were announced as well, including one with General Mills, which is using Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy for its new Bold Cultr cream cheese. Perfect Day is also trialing its animal-free dairy at some Starbucks coffee shops, and The Urgent Company bought ice cream maker Coolhaus, which will eventually use only animal-free dairy ingredients.

Other companies in Israel are working on animal-free dairy. Imagindairy raised $13 million in a seed round in November, and is working toward expansion with these funds. BioMilk, which uses cell culturing technology to create cow milk, went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in April through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

According to the statement from Remilk, the company plans to have products with its proteins on the market at some point this year. With a variety of providers getting to the scale in which they can produce a large amount of protein, animal-free dairy is bound to become much more widespread this year.

Source link