Animal-free cheese start-up receives $3.5 million
New Culture, a San Francisco start-up making animal-free dairy cheese, has announced its plans to close $3.5 million in seed round funding.
Founded in 2018, the start-up uses fermentation instead of animals to make dairy proteins. By using plant-based fats, sugars and the traditional cheesemaking process, the start-up is making cheese that is comparable to animal-based cheese in taste, texture and function.
After receiving support from IndieBio, a biotech accelerator program, New Culture raised a highly sought after seed round led by Evolv Ventures, the $100 million venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz. Other investors in the round include Bee Partners, Mayfield, CPT Capital, Boost VC and SOSV, who joined the seed round after its initial pre-seed investment through IndieBio.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of our investors as we look to grow the company and scale New Culture’s unique fermentation technology. We want to disrupt one of the oldest and largest food industries in the world by producing a better dairy cheese for anyone to enjoy — whether you’re a cheese lover, lactose intolerant, vegan, environmentally conscious or health conscious. The capital, knowledge and network our investors bring to New Culture enables us to begin doing that,” said Matt Gibson, CEO and co-founder of New Culture.
Gibson and co-founder Inja Radman, New Culture’s CSO, started the company to address the unsustainability of current dairy cheese production and the lack of companies working on a viable alternative cheese product.
Fully plant-based cheese is difficult to cultivate, as it lacks the casein micelle, a supramolecular structure of dairy proteins that can only be found in mammalian milk. New Culture aims to develop the technology to make casein micelles without using animals.
“We’re excited to lead the seed round for New Culture. We have been impressed by what the team accomplished during IndieBio in a short period of time and look forward to supporting their vision to produce animal-free dairy cheese,” said Steve Sanger, a General partner at Evolv Ventures.
New Culture will set up an R&D and fermentation facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, while also growing its team.
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