Cell-based dairy pioneer Perfect Day just secured $350 million in its Series D funding round, making it the most funded fermentation-based company. The food tech company’s funding now totals $750 million, pushing its innovative dairy-identical products to the forefront of the industry. The company’s signature cell-based whey and casein proteins allow for sustainably produced dairy-identical products without the need for animal slaughter.
Perfect Day recently entered the market through its commercial arm The Urgent Company. The company introduced its first ice cream brand Brave Robot that uses a fermentation process to replicate diary-like casein proteins. The proteins – initially extracted from a small number of cow cells – allow for the Brave Robot ice cream to be indistinguishable from conventional dairy products.
Currently, Brave Robot products reach over 5,000 retail locations across the United States including Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Stop and Shop. Following its success, the company decided to accelerate its research and development to reach other dairy categories.
“When we first started this almost eight years ago, we had the simple goal of creating a way to make dairy without animals,” Co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day Ryan Pandya said. “We quickly realized that we could maximize our positive impact for the planet and the global food system by applying our technology and know-how across the supply chain.”
The food tech company also announced that it will begin developing an animal-free cream cheese, made through the cell-based fermentation process. Consumers nationwide can expect the new cell-based cream cheese to debut soon at retailers across the US. The company intends to use its most recent funding package to increase product development, believing its offerings will undercut animal agriculture and innovate sustainable food practices.
“We first got into the ingredient business because food companies, big and small, were eager to work with the ingredients we had successfully scaled,” Perfect Day Co-Founder Perumal Gandhi said. “Today, something analogous is happening on the technology side. There are innovators all over the world with ideas and ambitions similar to our animal-free milk protein, but need help getting there. We’re standing up business models to be able to share our demonstrated capabilities in a way that maximizes upsides for all, yet ensures that Perfect Day remains at the forefront of our new industry.”
A recent study from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that nearly 30 percent of consumers cited that environmental concerns motivated them to stop or reduce eating animal products. The increasing awareness of animal agriculture’s ties to the climate crisis has encouraged consumers worldwide to consider alternative proteins or minimize animal-based consumption.
Perfect Day aims to address these consumers, detailing that its products reduce water consumption by 99 percent, non-renewable energy consumption by 60 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 97 percent when compared to conventional dairy. The company believes its cell-based innovation will lead the food industry towards more environmentally conscious systems.
“We’re a part of a new generation of leaders coming of age, armed with the world’s best science, systemic thinking, and compassion,” Pandya said. “We’ve seen it in lifesaving vaccines, and we’re about to see it in food. We’re proud of all our leaders – every single employee at Perfect Day, our partners and investors – and can’t wait for this next chapter.”
Earlier this week, the dairy-identical brand released seven new plant-based gelatos across the foodservice sector, becoming one of the first companies to offer cell-based products at universities, casinos, and hotels. For this debut, Perfect Day also teamed up with Italian dessert supplier Villa Dolce to develop four dairy identical easy-to-bake cakes.
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