Backed by Aussie music industry greats Bernard Fanning and Angus Stone, animal-free dairy company Eden Brew has secured $25 million in Series A funding in a major milestone that the company says will fuel its ability to scale the process of brewing proteins to bring animal-free dairy products to the market.
The latest funding round, led by Main Sequence Ventures, has been supported by Breakthrough Victoria to the tune of $6 million, enticing the company to relocate its headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne.
Eden Brew has developed a world first animal-free casein micelle, the key ingredient needed for animal-free dairy to emulate the sensory and nutritional experience of traditional dairy. The company says this is a significant step for the dairy-free market and its ability to establish consumer interest.
“We created Eden Brew with the aim of sustainably increasing the world’s milk supply, through Australian research ingenuity and the immense precision fermentation opportunity,” says Phil Morle, partner at Main Sequence Ventures and the Eden Brew chair.
“As the global population grows, it poses a very real threat to our existing food supply and resources, and companies like Eden Brew augment this to ensure the availability of food in the future.”
The company’s commercial prospects have attracted a host of new shareholders from the latest funding round. In addition to Fanning and Stone, Paralympic gold medalist Dylan Alcott and Australian music and hospitality entrepreneur Paul Piticco have also joined the share register.
Eden Brew is also now backed by Radar Ventures, Possible Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, NGS Super and Norwegian company Orkla.
"Investing in Eden Brew goes beyond just business,” says Possible Ventures’ Chris Hitchen.
“It represents our commitment to a sustainable solution addressing the protein needs of a future 10 billion-strong population. We’re proud to support this exceptional team, their visionary approach and cutting-edge science."
Eden Brew says the Series A funding will fuel the next phase of development and approvals, as well as allow for the piloting of commercial scale production and the launch of an ice-cream product.
“We are focused on creating the ultimate animal-free casein micelle which is critical to produce the properties of milk that we’re used to, and yet it’s cow-free,” says Eden Brew co-founder and CEO Jim Fader.
“The micelle makes nutrition such as calcium bioavailable and its replication via precision fermentation means families have another source to meet their nutritional needs. This is something alternative plant-derived milks cannot replicate. It’s a huge deal, it’s never been done and will change the landscape of alternative milks.”
Eden Brew was co-founded in 2020 by Fader, Main Sequence and Australia's oldest and largest dairy co-operative, Norco, who Fader says brings dairy production capabilities as well as established supply chains to take the company’s new products to market.
“As we create awareness for this new category of sustainable food, we’re pleased to have such well-known Aussie icons and Breakthrough Victoria recognise the need to put our animal-free dairy at the forefront of food sustainability,” he says.
Alcott says he’s proud to support an Aussie company focused on giving consumers ‘a great tasting and nutritious milk that is neither from an animal or plant’.
“Having a sustainable option for families that is fermented and produced in Australia will help to ensure we have a resilient source of protein for years to come,” he says.
Eden Brew is also chuffed at the investment by Norwegian consumer goods company Orkla, which the company says provides an opportunity to bring new and sustainable products to market in the Nordic region.
Apart from enticing Eden Brew to establish its headquarters in Melbourne, Breakthrough Victoria says the move is aimed at helping the company further develop its research and manufacturing in Victoria.
“Eden Brew is a great example of what we can achieve in Australia when we bring together our strengths in science, investment and industry, and Breakthrough Victoria is excited to be part of that,” says Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley.
“Eden Brew’s animal-free dairy technology is world-first and they’re working with the dairy industry to meet the growing demand for proteins globally in an environmentally sustainable way.”
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