Israeli food tech startup Yofix announced on Wednesday that it raised $2.5 million as part of an extended Series A round of strategic investment from new key investors Germany-based Muller Ventures AG, the French Bel Group and American financial firm LionTree Partners.
Founded in 2015, Yofix makes vegan and soy-free fermented plant-based prebiotic and probiotic dairy alternatives to yogurts which, the company says, have no added sugars, preservatives, thickeners, or colors.
The company uses ingredients like oats, lentils, and sesame to achieve the “classic flavor and probiotic functionality of dairy yogurts without the dairy ingredients.”
Yofix said the infusion of funds will help the startup growth and develop more products.
“Receiving the financial investment by such prominent multinational players of the dairy industry is an endorsement of trust and confidence in our products and technology,” said Steve Grun, Yofix CEO. “This fresh influx opens the door to new possibilities. Over the next few years, we will focus strategic efforts on expanding our line of dairy alternatives — which also includes oat yogurt shakes — into the global market.
“The support will also boost the advancement of our efforts toward developing more clean-label plant-based offerings that extend into alternative cheeses, frozen desserts, and milk alternatives — the prospects are boundless,” he added.
“In the fast-growing dairy alternative space, Yofix offers a unique range of quality products, both in terms of flavor and texture,” said Benjamin Bugl, managing director of Muller Ventures. “With no artificial ingredients, its clean-label solution is a powerful differentiator for consumer awareness and acceptance. Combined with Yofix’ strong management team, this makes it an attractive investment opportunity for Muller.”
“The rise of flexitarianism has led to strong, growing demand for plant-based products worldwide,” adds Fatine Layt, Head of France of LionTree. “Yofix has a unique positioning, offering 100% clean-label plant-based yogurt and a promising platform for delivering not only yogurts and drinkable yogurts, but a complete portfolio of real dairy replacements. More importantly, they hit all the desired organoleptic marks. We are enthusiastic to witness its next steps and facilitate its growth through our global network.”
Last year, Yofix won the top prize at PepsiCo’s European Nutrition Greenhouse Program which focuses on nutrition food and beverage products and is designed “to discover and nurture breakthrough brands” in the sector.
The company first launched its plant-based yogurt line with Strauss Dairies in Israel in late 2018 under the ONLY brand in three flavors to target the rapidly expanding demand for vegan, flexitarian, and lactose-intolerance populations.
Yofix was the first company to join The Kitchen, the leading food-tech incubator and seed investor in Israel, and part of the Strauss Group Ltd., the main investor in Yofix.