ISRAEL – Israeli food tech company Imagindairy is set to boost its precision fermentation capabilities following a successful seed extension round where it raised US$15 million.
The additional funding round 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.
It follows a November 2021 round where the Israeli food startup raised a US$13 million raise and brings total investment to US$28 million.
Imagindairy uses precision-fermentation technology to achieve its mission of providing consumers sustainable, better-for-you, guilt-free dairy solutions through animal-free milk proteins from microorganisms.
The alt-protein innovators found a way to integrate AI technology with system biology to unlock the potential of cellular agriculture which enables the programming of microorganisms to produce complex organic molecules, such as proteins.
The food tech company currently is focusing to produce whey proteins but plans to extend to developing and producing the entire range of milk proteins, including casein proteins alpha 1, alpha 2, beta, and kappa.
With this additional round, the alternative protein maker becomes one of the highest-earning seed rounds in the alternative protein space.
The funds received are intended to attract additional talent to its expanding workforce and also will be used to accelerate the company’s R&D efforts to launch a range of real dairy products without using animals.
Target Global said; “We strongly believe 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.”
Imagindairy suggests that its precision fermentation-derived dairy proteins are non-GMO, cholesterol-free, and possess the same flavor, texture, functionality, and nutritional value as their conventional counterparts.
Additionally, they eliminate the burden that livestock imposes on the environment and protects the animals.
Imagindairy further claims its proprietary platform significantly amplifies protein expression, enabling exceptionally cost-effective production of animal-free milk proteins.
With this platform they intend to overcome one of the biggest hurdles in alt-dairy protein production, allowing brands to sell analog dairy products at consumer-friendly prices which is a major requirement for mass-market adoption.
The start-up is viewing the US market to be its first target for commercialization and it is currently in dialogue with ‘major’ dairy food producers looking to diversify their product portfolios.
Eyal Afergan, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy said they are attracted to the US market first because the American regulation is highly advanced and a great many authorities are following it.
They are also hoping to move to the European market as their second priority amid growing demand for non-dairy products that are lactose-free, and tasty globally.
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