The animal-free dairy start-up raises additional US$15 million for scale-up in seed extension round.
Food-tech startup Imagindairy, developer of animal-free milk proteins, has secured an additional US$15 million in its extended seed-round. The initial round in November 2021 brought in US$13 million. This brings the total investment capital to US$28 million.
The funding 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.
The Imagindairy team has created animal-free milk proteins from microorganisms via precision-fermentation technology. The technology allows the production of a broad spectrum of dairy analogs, from raw milk to cheese, without involving animals. Imagindairy’s dairy proteins are non-GMO, cholesterol-free, and possess the same flavor, texture, functionality, and nutritional value of their cow-based counterparts. Most importantly, they eliminate the burden that livestock imposes on the environment.
Imagindairy’s proprietary platform enables cost-effective production of animal-free milk proteins. This overcomes one of the many hurdles in alt-dairy protein production, allowing brands to sell analogue dairy products at consumer-friendly prices — a major requirement for mass-market adoption.
“This extremely successful seed round reflects a strong vote of confidence in Imagindairy and its vision to lead the animal-free dairy industry,” enthused 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.”
The funds raised in this seed round will be used for the company’s R&D efforts to launch a range of real dairy products without using animals. It also will help attract additional talent to its team. Imagindairy is currently in dialogue with major dairy food producers seeking to diversify their product portfolios.
“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 industrialised animal agriculture but offer the same level of functionality and nutrition,” said 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.”
Target Global’s contribution to this seed round marks one of its first investments in the food-tech industry.
“It is exciting to cooperate with such an ambitious and creative company like Imagindairy in pioneering the new generation of dairy products,” added Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub. “Imagindairy’s technology has the potential to be a pivotal catalyst for radically advancing the field of precision fermentation, making animal-free dairy products accessible and readily available to all.”