Israeli food tech startup Remilk, a developer of animal-free dairy products through microbial fermentation, announced the completion of an $11.3 million funding round on Wednesday, led by fresh.fund, an Israeli VC firm focused on early-stage startups.
Participants in the funding round also included London-based CPT Capital, Israeli venture firm OurCrowd, ProVeg International, a food awareness NGO, as well as food manufacturers Hochland, a German dairy company, Tnuva, one of Israel’s largest milk and fairy companies (acquired Chinese conglomerate Bright Foods) and Tempo, a large Israeli beverage company.
Bradley Bloom, the co-founder and former managing director of Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners, Amiad Solomon, a serial Israeli entrepreneur and investor, and food-tech investor Beni Nofech also took part in the funding round.
Founded in 2019, Remilk produces lab-made, dairy-like food without the use of animals.
The startup is tapping into a dairy alternatives market that is projected to grow from $21.4 billion in 2020 to $36.7 billion by 2025, according to a global forecast report by Markets and Markets. The market is segmented by source type including soy, rice, coconut, almond, oats, and others, with the soy segment proving the most popular, especially for milk.
Remilk is offering a completely different source type.
The startup says it makes proteins that are identical to dairy proteins through microbial fermentation and developed a unique and patented approach to lab-based dairy manufacturing that doesn’t compromise on taste, functionality, and nutritional value.
The products – milk, yogurt, cream and cheese – are cholesterol-free and contain no lactose, antibiotics, or growth hormones.
Remilk says its offerings are also notably more sustainable and eco-friendly than traditional dairy production systems, requiring just 1 percent of the land, 4 percent of the feedstock, and 10 percent of the water to produce than comparable dairy products.
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“Today’s non-dairy alternatives address environmental and health concerns, but universally fail to create authentic dairy-based products, like cheese. We’re bridging this gap by making dairy products with dairy proteins, without needing a single cow,” said Remilk co-founder and CEO Aviv Wolff. “Our proprietary technology delivers the most authentic animal-free dairy product in the market today and is identical to natural dairy. With our new partnerships for production and distribution, we’ll soon be ready to reinvent this multibillion-dollar industry.”
“Relying on animals to make our food is no longer sustainable. This model of food production has all but reached its limits in terms of scale, reach, and efficiency, and the implications are devastating for our planet. Remilk is revolutionizing the way we produce food around the world, and importantly, is creating a lasting and environmentally-friendly food system that takes no more than what our planet can give,” added Wolff.
Remilk said the new capital will fuel the rapid expansion of the startup’s production and distribution capabilities to meet global demand for its products.
Zaki Djemal, managing partner at fresh.fund, said “protein alternatives to meat and dairy are gaining global traction with both consumers and producers taking notice of the environmental, health-related and efficiency benefits they present. We see significant market potential for Remilk’s unique technologies across categories and we’re thrilled to have been the company’s first investors.”
Hochland CFO Hubert Staub said his company sees an interesting opportunity in fermented proteins “to develop innovative and sustainable products.”
“Remilk is the ideal partner for Hochland to jointly develop this new raw material base,” he added.