Remilk, an Israel-based startup that makes milk products without the use of cows has raised $11.3 million in funding from investors including food makers Tnuva, Tempo and Germany’s dairy manufacturer Hochland.
Using a microbial fermentation process, the startup creates milk proteins that it then turns into a dried powder that can be used as the basis of a wide variety of milk-based products.
The capital raised will enable Remilk plans to “rapidly expand its production and distribution capabilities, and meet global demand” for its animal-free dairy products, the company said in a statement last week.
The latest funding was led by fresh.fund, a student-run venture fund, with participation from London-based CPT Capital; Jerusalem’s OurCrowd; ProVeg, a food awareness nonprofit; German dairy firm Hochland; Israel’s Tnuva, a milk and dairy company; and Tempo, an Israeli maker of drinks.
The co-founder and former managing director of Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners, Bradley Bloom, also took part in the funding round, along with Amiad Solomon, a serial Israeli entrepreneur and investor, and food-tech investor Beni Nofech, the statement said.
“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 Aviv Wolff, co-founder and CEO at Remilk. “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.”
Remilk products are cholesterol-free and contain no lactose, antibiotics, or growth hormones. The firm’s products are also “far more sustainable and eco-friendlier than traditional dairy systems, requiring 1% of the land, 4% of the feedstock, and 10% of the water to produce than comparable dairy products,” the statement 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,” fresh.fund Managing Partner, Zaki Djemal, who led the round, said in the statement. “We see significant market potential for Remilk’s unique technologies across categories.”
“In fermented proteins we see an interesting opportunity to develop innovative and sustainable products,” said Hubert Staub, the chief financial officer of Hochland. “Remilk is the ideal partner for Hochland to jointly develop this new raw material base.”