SOUTH AFRICA – De Novo Dairy, the first African company to use precision fermentation technology to produce nature identical, animal-free dairy proteins that replicate mammalian immuno-protein’s function and nutrition, has clinched an investment from UM6P Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Morocco.
This allows them to extract essential cruelty-free milk proteins that are typically very scarce and difficult to obtain.
The proteins developed can be used within a wide range of industries including food, health, sports nutrition, and baby formula.
“Dairy alternatives have gained global traction over the last few years due to the health-related and environmental benefits they present.
“We are pleased to add De Novo Dairy to our growing portfolio of Deeptech startups, work with their talented management team and support them while improving the African food system,” said Ikram Labtaini, Scientific Development & Operations Lead, UM6P Ventures.
In addition, De Novo Dairy will take advantage of UM6P Ventures’ subject matter support offer that includes growth strategy assistance, access to research and strategic partners to run R&D pilots, and assistance in navigating the CRISPR landscape.
In preparation for growth and to help build an expansion team strategy in the triangle park North Carolina region, UM6P Ventures will assist in the launch of a De Novo Dairy subsidiary in that region.
“We are really excited to have the support of UM6P Ventures in this investment round. They share our vision and mission to improve human nutrition while removing animals from the food chain.
“We are also thrilled to benefit from all of the support provided to help us accelerate both R&D and scale-up efforts and look forward to achieving future milestones together,” said Jean Louwrens, CEO & Co-Founder, De Novo Dairy.
Founded in 2021, De Novo Dairy’s solution aims to cost-effectively produce premium proteins in a sustainable way.
According to the start-up, animal-based proteins present potential pathogen risks and are not perfectly designed for the human immune system.
In addition, these proteins are derived from scarce resources and are challenging to purify and too expensive for food manufacturers to include in their products.
Precision fermentation has some unique benefits and an impressive safety profile contributing to its recent traction in the alternative dairy sector in the production of animal-free dairy proteins.
It offers a meaningful reduction in energy needed to produce the proteins when compared to animal agriculture, lowers emissions, and eliminates animal welfare concerns making it an attractive alternative.