USA – California-based animal-free dairy company New Culture Foods is set to launch its animal-free cheese in 2022 following a successful series A funding round.
New Culture raised US$25 million in the series A investment round that was led by Ahren Innovation Capital and CPT Capital, and also includes ADM Ventures, Be8 Ventures, and S2G Ventures.
Other participants in the round include Future Ventures, Kraft Heinz venture arm Evolv Ventures, SOSV’s IndieBio, Bee Partners, Mayfield, Alumni Ventures Group and Bluestein Ventures.
The company said fund from the round will help it make key hires and scale up production for a planned 2022 launch.
New Culture uses precision fermentation to make an animal-free casein protein, which gives cheese its trademark stretch.
The company uses this casein to make animal-free mozzarella cheese, which it plans to launch as an ingredient at select pizzerias next year.
Its successful funding round comes as Animal-free dairy quickly goes from a scientific idea to something consumers can eat.
Ingredient company Perfect Day has already made progress in the field with its animal-free dairy proteins now available in General Mills’ new Bold Cultr cream cheese.
New Culture has been laser-focused on creating an alternative to traditional dairy-based cheese that can do more than just pass muster with average consumers.
Dairy proteins are essential to the taste, texture, and experience of eating cheese, co-founder and CEO Matt Gibson said in a previous interview.
The company is using technology to create a cheese that delivers those things to consumers and has hosted several pizza tastings using the cheese that have highlighted both its performance and versatility.
With this funding round, New Culture is also getting closer to delivering the product to consumers.
Not only does it bring the company a huge capital infusion and the lion’s share of its funding to date, but it also forges and strengthens key partnerships.
This is the second funding round that Kraft Heinz’s Evolv Ventures has participated in. Kraft Heinz has deep expertise in R&D, branding, product development, supply chain, and marketing, and it could benefit from having a new dairy ingredients partner.
The venture arms of ingredients powerhouse Archer Daniels Midland and Dr. Oetker frozen pizza — also open up a vast new opportunity for New Culture.
Be8 Ventures affiliated with German ingredients and frozen pizza company Dr. Oetker is also another strategic partnership that New Culture has got in the latest funding round.
If New Culture is producing cheese for pizzas, a partnership with the global leader in frozen pizza could definitely be invaluable particularly now as it plans to launch to market.
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