Legendairy Foods Completes €4 Million Seed Round to Make Animal-Free Cheese
Last week, Legendairy Foods announced that they raised €4 million (US $4.7 million) in seed funding. Based in Berlin, Germany, Legendairy Foods is a new startup that uses cellular agriculture to make dairy cheese without requiring cows. By designing microbes to produce the same proteins found in cheese from a cow, Legendairy Foods can make the same cheese. Without requiring the cow.
Founded by Raffael Wohlgensinger and Dr Britta Winterberg, Legendairy Foods is the first European cellular agriculture startup focusing on producing animal-free dairy products. Both Wohlgensinger and Winterberg were motivated to found Legendairy Foods to develop a sustainable food system without requiring animals to create milk.
Legendairy Foods’ seed round was co-led by Agronomics and M Ventures. Other investors in the round include CPT Capital, Atlantic Food Labs, and Good Seed Ventures. M Ventures is the corporate venture arm of German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world Merck’s expertise in cell culturing and scaling production may be invaluable for Legendairy Foods. In July 2018, M Ventures also co-led Dutch cell-based meat company Mosa Meat’s Series A round of $8.8 million.
Legendairy Foods plans to use the seed funding round to expand their team and accelerate the development of their first product: an animal-free dairy cheese. While the first company in Europe, Legendairy Foods joins a growing number of global companies working to produce dairy products via cellular agriculture.
Earlier this month, Perfect Day announced that the company raised $140 million in Series C funding to develop its dairy protein portfolio. New Culture also raised their seed round of $3.5 million to produce animal-free mozzarella cheese in September 2019. Another company, Motif FoodWorks, is looking to produce animal proteins, such as dairy proteins, to improve the flavor and texture of plant-based products.
TurtleTree Labs, a new cellular agriculture startup in Singapore, has a different approach to making milk: cell-based dairy milk. They plan to grow mammary gland cells that will produce the same mammalian milk directly. TurtleTree Labs initially plans to produce human breast milk before focusing on other mammalian milks, including dairy milk
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My name is Ahmed Khan, and I am the Editor of CellAgri. Subscribe to the CellAgri email newsletter at www.cell.ag to get the latest research and news about cellular agriculture, which I share exclusively with my email subscribers. We are regularly tweeting out interesting articles and thoughts via twitter @Cellagritech