31/05/2022 – Sustainability / Imagindairy / Foodtech / Alt-dairy / Milk Proteins
Imagindairy closes seed round to reach investment total of $28m
FoodTech startup Imagindairy Ltd – developer of animal-free milk proteins – has secured an additional US$15 million in its extended seed-round. Combined with investment raised during the initial round in November 2021, this brings the total investment capital to US$28m, making it one of the highest-earning seed rounds in the alternative protein space.
Imagindairy is reinvigorating the dairy industry by producing sustainable, guilt-free, animal-free dairy milk proteins. Co-founded by Eyal Afergan, PhD; Tamir Tuller, PhD; and Arie Abo, PhD, the company utilises 15 years of research in evolutionary genomics for the advancement of high-yield protein expression and production. The use of advanced computational and molecular biology technologies enables Imagindairy to develop cost-effective processes that overcome considerable barriers in the emerging precision-fermentation industry. And clearly, the new investment will significantly support the scale-up and advancement of the firm’s operations.
The funding was led by Target Global and joined by the company’s existing investors Strauss Group, Emerald Technology Ventures, Green Circle Foodtech Ventures, Collaborative Fund, New Climate Ventures, and FoodSparks® by PeakBridge.
Proprietary precision-fermentation technology
In its mission to provide consumers with sustainable, better-for-you, guilt-free dairy solutions, the alt-protein innovators found a way to create animal-free milk proteins from micro-organisms via proprietary precision-fermentation technology. The technology allows the production of a broad spectrum of dairy analogues, from raw milk to cheese, without involving animals.
Imagindairy’s dairy proteins are non-GMO, cholesterol-free, and possess the same flavour, texture, functionality, and nutritional value of their cow-based counterparts. Most importantly, they eliminate the burden that livestock imposes on the environment.
Imagindairy’s proprietary platform significantly amplifies protein expression, enabling exceptionally cost-effective production of animal-free milk proteins. This overcomes one of the biggest hurdles in alt-dairy protein production, allowing brands to sell analogue dairy products at consumer-friendly prices – a major requirement for mass-market adoption.
Towards making “true dairy alternative products a day-to-day reality”
“This extremely successful seed round reflects a strong vote of confidence in Imagindairy and its vision to lead the animal-free dairy industry,” enthuses Eyal Afergan, Co-Founder and CEO of Imagindairy. “This substantial injection of capital will serve to advance our ability to make true dairy alternative products a day-to-day reality.”
The funds raised in this seed round will be used to accelerate the company’s R&D efforts to launch a range of real dairy products without using animals. It also will help attract additional talent to its expanding workforce. Imagindairy is currently in dialogue with major dairy food producers seeking to diversify their product portfolios.
Animal-free dairy’s “potential to become one of the most environmentally impactful industries”
“We are excited to be able to back the Imagindairy team, who have made incredible inroads in creating dairy products that don't rely on industrialised animal agriculture but offer the same level of functionality and nutrition,” remarked Shmuel Chafets, Executive Chairman and Founder at Target Global, whose contribution to this round marks one of its first investments in the food-tech industry.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that, given the climate crisis and growing shortage of food, our dietary patterns and habits must change. Animal-free dairy has the potential to become one of the most environmentally impactful industries on the planet. We are strong believers that the Imagindairy team’s vast experience in manufacturing at scale, paired with the cutting-edge technology they have built, will be transformational for this space.”
Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, remarked that it was “exciting” to cooperate with such “an ambitious and creative company” as Imagindairy in pioneering the new generation of dairy products, adding that the firm’s technology has “the potential to be a pivotal catalyst for radically advancing the field of precision fermentation, making animal-free dairy products accessible and readily available to all.”
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