Eden Brew, an Australian-based startup specializing in precision fermentation, has recently secured $24.4 million in a Series A funding round. The company is making waves in the dairy industry with its groundbreaking technology that emulates the proteins found in cow's milk to create animal-free dairy products. As Eden Brew prepares to move its headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne, this funding marks a significant step in its mission to revolutionize the dairy sector.
The Funding Round
Led by Main Sequence Ventures, the Series A round has garnered attention from a diverse group of investors, including government-funded Breakthrough Victoria, Radar Ventures, Possible Ventures, Mars’ Digitalis Ventures, NGS Super, and Norwegian branded goods company Orkla. The round also attracted financing from Australian celebrities like musicians Bernard Fanning, Angus Stone, and Paralympian Dylan Alcott. This follows a $5 million cash injection in June 2022, which included co-founders Main Sequence and Norco, as well as Digitalis Ventures.
Technology & Sustainability
What sets Eden Brew apart is its development of an animal-free casein micelle, a component responsible for 80% of the total protein content in dairy. This innovation is key to recreating the sensory and nutritional characteristics of conventional dairy. According to CEO Jim Fader, this technology makes nutrients like calcium bioavailable, offering a significant advantage over alternative plant-derived milk and ice creams.
Eden Brew's technology is not just innovative but also sustainable. The company claims that its milk production requires less than 10 liters of water per liter of finished milk product, compared to 1,000 liters for cow’s milk and 6,000 liters for almond milk.
Strategic Partnership with Norco
The startup is a collaborative effort between CSIRO, its deep-tech venture fund Main Sequence, and dairy cooperative Norco. The co-ownership with Australia's oldest and largest dairy cooperative provides a strategic advantage. Norco's dairy production capabilities, experience, and established supply chains will significantly accelerate Eden Brew's scale-up efforts and potentially open doors to the Nordics.
The fresh capital will be used to secure regulatory and patent approvals and to initiate pilots for commercial-scale animal-free milk production. Eden Brew also plans to launch its ice cream product in the food service industry. "Investing in Eden Brew goes beyond just business. It represents our commitment to a sustainable solution addressing the protein needs of a future 10-billion-strong population," said Chris Hitchen, managing partner at Possible Ventures, while according to Jim Fader, the investment from Breakthrough Victoria is crucial for commercialization.
Eden Brew aims to meet the growing global demand for food in an environmentally sustainable manner. The CSIRO predicts that Australia’s precision fermentation industry will be worth $1.45 billion by 2030. Main Sequence partner Phil Morle emphasized the startup's role in sustainably increasing the world's milk supply.
With this latest funding round, Eden Brew is well-positioned to make significant strides in the alternative proteins space. As the global population continues to grow, the need for sustainable food solutions becomes increasingly urgent. Eden Brew's animal-free casein micelle technology offers a promising solution to these challenges, making it a startup to watch in the coming years.