Imagindairy Raises $15M in Seed Funding to Bring Alternative Dairy to Market

Imaginaryan Israeli animal-free milk protein producer, just raised an additional $15 million for its extended funding round.

Why is this important:

Global demand for alternative proteins has increased, with some predicting the market will be worth up to $4.4 billion by 2026. This is due to population growth, shrinking agricultural land and changing dietary habits.

“Everyone thinks it’s imminent that there will be a lack of protein in a few years, and we have to find the solution. Our investors are very bullish,” said Imagindairy co-founder and CEO Eyal Afergan. APN.

How it works:

Before launching the startup in 2018, Afergan had concluded that most alternative dairy products on the market fell far short of the sensory and nutritional properties of animal-based dairy products. He and his co-founders wanted to provide the same experience to consumers without compromising on nutrition, taste or texture.

Imagindairy’s precision fermentation platform dramatically amplifies protein expression, enabling cost-effective production of animal-based milk proteins. This overcomes one of the biggest hurdles in alternative protein, allowing brands to sell dairy analogues at consumer-friendly prices – a major requirement for mass market adoption.

The Tel Aviv-based startup now produces non-GMO, lactose and cholesterol free whey protein. It aims to expand its range to include soft cheese, milk and yogurt, targeting the US market due to its shorter regulatory timelines compared to the EU.

Imagindairy aims to launch its first products in 2023, with a B2B market entry strategy to leverage the know-how and consumer bases of established brands. The startup will offer products under these brands, or license their technology to them while providing technical support. He is now in dialogue with several major dairy manufacturers looking to diversify their product portfolios, Afergan said.

“I think the real market transformation will happen within the industry. I don’t think we should compete with players in the milk or dairy industry, but work with them,” he added.

Competitive Landscape:

A few other startups producing dairy alternatives include:

What they say :

« The Imagindairy team [have] has made incredible breakthroughs in creating dairy products that do not depend on industrialized animal agriculture, but offer the same level of functionality and nutrition,” said Shmuel Chafets, Executive Chairman and Founder of Target Global, in a statement. .

“Animal-free dairy has the potential to become one of the most environmentally impactful industries on the planet.”

Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, added that Imagindairy is “radically advancing the field of precision fermentation, making animal-free dairy accessible and easily accessible to everyone.”

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