California-based food tech startup Perfect Day had a pretty good day: the maker of animal-free dairy products raised $140 million, aiming to commercialize their offerings and expand to multiple continents, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Perfect Day relies on fermentation techniques converting plant sugar into milk proteins, namely whey and casein, to produce cheese, yogurt and ice cream in a process that does not involve any animals.
Founded five years ago, the startup is poised for growth in an increasingly crowded market, with companies racing to disrupt traditional dairy industry and offer consumers more sustainable, environmentally conscious alternatives that don’t compromise on taste.
“Plant-based food is exploding.”
“Our focus in 2020 will be manufacturing and commercializing the protein in multiple continents, through multiple partnerships spanning different dairy product categories,” CEO and co-founder Ryan Pandya said, according to the FT.
The Series C round is more than twice what the company raised in the last five years, bringing Perfect Day’s total funding to $201.5 million. The latest round was led by Temasek along with earlier investor Horizon Ventures.
“Plant-based food is exploding,” Bonnie Lau, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based yogurt maker Yoconut, said this week at sustainable food accelerator Food Future Co.’s pitch event in New York. Lau’s company makes yogurt from coconut and coconut milk.
- The U.S. non-dairy milk market, driven by growing popularity of veganism, environmentalism and a health-conscious lifestyle, jumped 50% last year and now accounts for 15% of the total dairy market.
- “In 2019, we showed that our manufacturing process works robustly at commercial scale,” Perfect Day said in a statement, according to the website Food Dive. “Flora-based protein delivers on the dairy experience, and that people are excited about what we’re doing.”