A startup that makes cow-free cultured mozzarella and ricotta cheeses just won record funding from investors looking to tap into the growing market for eco-friendly dairy alternatives.
Berlin-based Formo will use the $ 50 million Series A funding, a record for a European food technology, to expand its product range to mature and mature cheeses such as cheddar and gruyere. The company, Bloomberg notes , will also expand its precision fermentation technology.
“We are talking about a product that must go to the mass market or must be produced in large volume, so now we are working on an expansion”
“We are talking about a product that must go to mass market or must be produced in high volume, so we are now working on an expansion,” says Raffael Wohlgensinger, co-founder and CEO of Formo, in an interview. “We want to open up the focus and really make sure that we can cover pretty much any type of cheese you can think of.”
Investors are pouring money into a new generation of startups looking to replicate the joys of eating cheese, without the climate-warming impact of ranching. Companies like Miyoko’s Creamery in the US and Stockeld Dreamery in Sweden have secured funding in recent weeks, while larger companies like Oatly see it as a new frontier for product expansion.
EQT Ventures led the funding round together with Elevat3 Capital and Lowercarbon Capital. Funds such as Happiness Capital and Agronomics Ltd. also participated.
“What our products contain are milk proteins, but we don’t get them from a cow”
Formo, formerly known as Legendairy Foods GmbH, wants to reproduce the same taste and texture of real cheeses. Its precision fermentation technology relies on microbes to create proteins that form the basis of cheeses. “What our products contain is milk protein, but we don’t get it from a cow,” said Britta Winterberg, Formo’s co-founder and chief science officer. “We get them from our microorganisms.”