Zurich, Switzerland: Emerald Ventures, a pioneer in industrial technology venture capital, announced Wednesday that it joined a $15 million seed round extension into Israeli food technology firm Imagindairy. The investment is a signal of Emerald’s belief that the insurgent startup will shake up the dynamic market for animal-free dairy, as the world accelerates its search for low-carbon alternatives to traditional food.
Imagindairy, which creates milk proteins through the use of precision fermentation, leverages proprietary machine learning technology to reach high production of protein, thereby ramping up potential yield. This allows Imagindairy to unlock the potential of precision fermentation technology to offer consumers guilt-free products at affordable prices.
The use of animal-free dairy proteins creates products that have the great familiar taste, mouthfeel and nutritional value of dairy products. Crucially, the process is far less carbon-intensive compared with raising traditional dairy cows, whose products are responsible for heavy greenhouse gas emissions. Imagindairy estimates that its process can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90%, compared with traditional agricultural processes.
The funds raised in this extension bring the total seed round—the first stage of which was announced in November 2021 and also included Emerald’s participation—to $28 million. The funds will be used to accelerate Imagindairy’s R&D efforts to launch a range of animal-free products and attract additional talent to its expanding workforce. Imagindairy is currently in dialogue with major dairy food producers seeking to diversify their product portfolios.
“Imagindairy continues to impress us,” says Emerald partner Markus Moor. “We are excited about the next chapter in their growth and look forward to helping them bring their innovations to market.”
“This extremely successful seed round reflects a strong vote of confidence in Imagindairy and its vision to lead the animal-free dairy industry,” says Eyal Afergan, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy. “This substantial injection of capital will serve to advance our ability to make animal-free dairy products a day-to-day reality.”