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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Cultivated Biosciences secures $5m in seed funding

Swiss biotech start-up Cultivated Biosciences has announced the successful closing of its seed funding round, securing $5 million.

The financial injection will accelerate the development of Cultivated Biosciences’ yeast cream in collaboration with the food industry and prepare the start-up for market launch in 2025.

The start-up unveiled its yeast-based cream in December last year, the result of two years of R&D. At the time it said that it meets the expectations of consumers – it is “very creamy and tastes like a regular US commercial creamer”.

Navus Ventures, a Dutch venture capital firm dedicated to promoting sustainable food and energy systems, led the investment round. Navus was joined by Swiss tech venture capital firm Founderful along with other early investors like HackCapital and Lukas Böni, the founder of Planted.

The round also introduced new investors, including US-based Joyful VC, Mandi Ventures and Zürcher Kantonalbank.

Cultivated Biosciences says its yeast-derived cream mimics the creaminess, functionality and colour of traditional dairy cream. The ingredient is said to improve the texture and stability of dairy-free products while replacing additives, and without affecting taste.

The patented yeast cream is a natural emulsion – in the same way that dairy cream is a natural emulsion – but is derived from a specific type of oleaginous yeast. The production process involves yeast biomass fermentation, a method distinct from precision fermentation as it is “non-GMO, cheaper and more easily scalable,” the company said.

Cultivated Biosciences yeast-derived cream
Cultivated Biosciences yeast-derived cream

Cultivated Biosciences' CEO Tomas Turner said: “This funding validates our innovative approach and enables us to introduce our revolutionary yeast cream to the market. We aim to make alternative dairy products appealing to traditional dairy consumers, not just to reduce CO2 emissions from dairy production but also to tap into a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity."

Eduard Meijer, MD of Navus Ventures, added: “This dairy-free cream with great taste, mouthfeel, versatility and functionality can significantly improve alternative dairy, with a technology that has the potential to scale economically. We are excited to team up to help them make these products commonplace, catering to diverse consumer preferences.”

The start-up says that its patented yeast cream achieves functional and sensory parity with dairy cream, containing fat, protein and fibre from the yeast – it features a microstructure of yeast lipid droplets that resemble milk fat droplets.

The ingredient is designed for integration into final consumer products, with Cultivated Biosciences planning to supply it to the food industry and gastronomy sectors through a B2B model. The company has already validated its application in products like coffee creamers, milk and ice cream and says its clients are currently exploring further uses.


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