Alt dairy startup Formo has completed a $50 million Series A funding round – a record for a European foodtech. Berlin-based Formo uses precision fermentation to create nature-identical dairy products without cows.
“Our excellent investor setup paired with our team of interdisciplinary experts makes us uniquely positioned to define the new gold standard of cheese”
The startup will use the new funding to build a pilot plant, fast-track commercial-scale production, and expand the molecular biology and food science team. With the resulting increase in R&D capacity, as well as techniques designed in collaboration with artisan cheesemakers, Formo plans to grow its product portfolio to represent a wide range of dairy products, including mozzarella and ricotta.
Formo has previously teamed up with the University of Bath to conduct research on the alt cheese market, revealing that 71% of consumers are willing to buy precision fermentation-made animal-free dairy, despite it not yet hitting the market. Formo also claims to be able to already undercut consumers’ willingness to pay at commercial production scale, as microorganisms are up to 20 times more efficient than cows at converting feed into food.
The startup was founded by Raffael Wohlgensinger and Dr. Britta Winterberg to create a more sustainable and ethical food system where change is not initiated through consumer sacrifice but rather through high-tech and appealing products. “Our product is not like cheese, it is cheese,” Wohlgensinger told vegconomist in a recent interview.
“We are thrilled to join forces with additional top-tier investors such as EQT, Lowercarbon Capital, and Elevat3 Capital and to further solidify our relationships with our existing shareholders. Our excellent investor setup paired with our team of interdisciplinary experts makes us uniquely positioned to define the new gold standard of cheese,” Wohlgensinger, Co-Founder and CEO of Formo, commented on the funding.
“With our technology, we aspire to lead the paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and equitable food system for this planet,” he added. “To achieve our goal of a zero-carbon economy, we need to invest at least as much attention and resources into making our food system radically more sustainable as we are investing into clean energy.”