Israeli alternative protein food-tech startup Imagindairy raised $15 million in an extended seed round this week.
The company initially raised $13 million in a seed round in November 2021 and the closing of this round brings the company’s total funding to $28 million, which the company says is one of the highest-earning seed rounds in the alternative protein space.
Funding was led by venture capital firm Target Global, alongside participation from Imagindairy’s prior investors Strauss Group, Emerald Technology Ventures, Green Circle Foodtech Ventures, Collaborative Fund, New Climate Ventures, and Peakbridge’s seed fund Foodsparks.
Founded in 2020, Imagindairy provides healthier, more sustainable, and cruelty-free dairy products via cellular agriculture methods. The company develops animal-free based dairy products using its proprietary precision-fermentation technology that blends AI with system biology to increase the expression of milk proteins in microorganisms that are non-GMO, and cholesterol-free. This amplified protein expression enables the production of animal-free milk proteins to be particularly cost-effective––a hurdle that often prevents similar brands from selling their products at consumer-friendly prices, which is required for mass-market adoption.
The technology enables the production of a wide range of dairy products such as raw milk and cheese without perpetuating the impact of livestock agriculture on the environment while maintaining the same flavor, texture, and nutritional value as their traditional cow-based counterparts.
Imagindairy is in current talks with major dairy food producers, seeking to diversify their product portfolios.
“This extremely successful seed round reflects a strong vote of confidence in Imagindairy and its vision to lead the animal-free dairy industry,” said 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.”
“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 industrialized animal agriculture but offer the same level of functionality and nutrition,” says Shmuel Chafets, executive chairman and founder at Target Global. “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.”