Zurich, Switzerland: Emerald Ventures, a pioneer in industrial technology venture capital, announced on November 17th 2021 that it joined a $13 million seed round in Israeli food technology firm Imagindairy. Its $1 million investment in the insurgent startup accelerates Emerald’s advancement into the dynamic market for animal-free dairy, as the world increasingly searches for low-carbon alternatives to traditional food.
Imagindairy, which creates milk proteins through the use of precision fermentation, combines multidisciplinary expertise and proprietary machine learning technology to produce the most possible proteins in the shortest amount of time, thereby ramping up output. This will allow Imagindairy to unlock the potential of precision fermentation technology and to offer consumers guilt-free products at affordable prices.
This contributes to foods that have all the familiar great taste, mouthfeel and nutritional value of dairy products. Crucially, the process is likely far less carbon-intensive compared with raising traditional dairy cows—whose products can emit upwards of 10 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per 100 g of protein.
The company is currently exploring several pathways to market, including supplementing conventional or plant-based dairy, selling the protein as a nutritional supplement, or creating its own white label dairy alternatives. “We couldn’t be more excited to support Imagindairy in its mission to satisfy the world’s dairy cravings in a sustainable and economically efficient way,” says Emerald partner Markus Moor.
“It’s hard for people to make big changes, especially when it comes to the foods they enjoy, but when there’s an alternative with the same flavor and experience that is more aligned to their values, it becomes easy,” says Imagindairy co-founder and CEO Eyal Afergan, PhD. “Once we reach commercialization, more consumers will be able to enjoy eating animal-free dairy products.”