Eden Brew, an emerging Australian venture focused on creating dairy proteins and products without utilizing animals, has successfully obtained fresh investment.
In the A$24.4 million ($15.3 million) Series A funding round, the prominent Nordic food company Orkla participated, contributing A$6 million. Additionally, Breakthrough Victoria, an independent firm overseeing the state’s investment funds, also invested in the round.
Established in 2021, Eden Brew was founded by the Australian dairy organization Norco in collaboration with CSIRO and Main Sequence Ventures, the fund designated to manage the government agency’s innovation fund.
Breakthrough Victoria said the investment “will allow Eden Brew to seek regulatory and patent approvals”.
It added, “The company will also begin piloting commercial scale animal-free milk production and launch its ice cream in the foodservice industry. As part of the investment, Eden Brew will establish its head office in Melbourne and further develop its research and manufacturing in Victoria.”
Jim Fader, the CEO of Eden Brew, is among the company’s co-founders, alongside Phil Morle, a partner at Main Sequence, and Michael Hampson, the CEO of Norco.
Fader said, “Eden Brew is focussed on creating an animal-free dairy category, which stands to play a significant role in how we sustainably meet the growing demand for food on the planet.
“We’re incredibly proud to continue to build our team in Melbourne and the investment we have received from Breakthrough Victoria is critical to enabling Eden Brew to commercialise.”
Participating in the Series A funding round were Digitalis Ventures, Possible Ventures, and Radar Ventures. This latest investment adds to the A$6.9 million secured last year and an additional A$4 million obtained in 2021.
“Using science know-how developed at CSIRO, Eden Brew uses a precision fermentation process to produce casein proteins and combine them into the casein micelle, the organised protein cluster which gives cow’s milk its bioavailable nutritional carrying capacity, heat stability and many of its sensory qualities,” according to the Breakthrough Victoria statement.
“Eden Brew will scale fermentation-based manufacturing and then utilise existing milk and dairy production techniques and infrastructure to help increase the supply of nutritious food, sustainably.”
Global corporations are funneling investments into the emerging animal-free dairy sector. In August, Fonterra participated in the initial funding round of Vivici, a Dutch startup specializing in the production of animal-free dairy proteins using precision fermentation technology.
In April, Danone acquired a share of the Israel-based animal-free dairy enterprise, Imagindairy.
In August, Perfect Day, a U.S. animal-free dairy company that has amassed over $750 million in funding since its inception in 2014, divested its consumer-oriented assets to prioritize the supply of its animal-free whey protein to B2B partners.