Animal-free dairy start-up Eden Brew achieves $25m series A raise

Animal-free dairy start-up Eden Brew achieves $25m series A raise
  • PublishedOctober 9, 2023

Precision fermentation company, Eden Brew, has reached the $25 million funding goal for its Series A capital raise, with a sizeable investment from the Victorian government seeing the company relocate from Sydney to Victoria.

Eden Brew developed a world first animal-free casein micelle, which is the key ingredient needed for animal-free dairy to emulate the sensory and nutritional experience of traditional dairy. It uses the age-old process of fermentation to make milk, ice cream and more.

The raise will help the company in its next phase of development and approvals and allow for the piloting of commercial scale production and the launch of the ice cream product.

Eden Brew CEO Jim Fader
Eden Brew CEO Jim Fader

Jim Fader told Food & Drink Business the raise took about six months longer than expected, which was reflection of the current economic climate.

“There’s still investment out there but everyone is batting down the hatches and waiting for better macroeconomic signals and better financial sentiment to unlock the investment,” Fader said.

He said companies are having to work a lot harder to get investors, with proximity to commercialisation, being able to “sell hour vision”, and having a solid business plan critical.

“It’s a tough market,” he said.

Investors are much more questioning, wanting to know what makes a company different from others in the marketplace and to see a clear strategy about what you are and what you’re not.

“Being able to hone our pitch on these exact points is when we really started to gain momentum with investors,” Fader added.

Through venture capital company Main Sequence’s social impact community, Voice Capital, the raise has attracted a range of new investors including elite athlete, paralympic gold medallist, author and Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott.

“I am incredibly proud to be supporting 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,” Alcott said.

Big names from Australia’s music and entertainment scene, Bernard Fanning, Angus Stone and festival organiser and band manager, Paul Piticco, also invested.

In terms of who invested, Fader said it was their strategy from the outset to find investors with a profile whose values aligned with those of Eden Brew.

“This isn’t about sponsorship or endorsement; they have had to invest in the company. It is about finding people who care about what we care about and are willing to use their profile to amplify that,” he said.

The Victorian government’s Breakthrough Victoria also made a substantial investment, which will see Eden Brew move its head office in Melbourne and further develop its research and manufacturing in Victoria.

Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said, “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.”

Other key investors include Radar Ventures, Possible Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, NGS Super and Norwegian branded goods company Orkla.

Main Sequence partner and chair, Phil Morle, said, “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.

“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.”

For GP Possible Ventures Chris Hitchen, investing in the company goes beyond “just business”.

“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,” Hitchen said.

SOURCE: FOOD&DRINKBUSSINESS

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