Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Cow’s Milk Alternative for Infants: Nūmi Raises €3M to Develop Cell-Cultivated Breast Milk

French startup Nūmi (previously MUMilk), a biotech pioneering the production of cell-cultured breast milk, announces it has raised €3 million in pre-seed funding from a group of investors including Heartcore Capital, HCVC, Financière Saint-James, Kima Ventures, and Kost Capital.

The new capital will support the expansion of the company’s scientific teams, facilitate its next phase of R&D, and progress toward marketing the company and its products.

Nūmi, setting out to revolutionize the infant nutrition industry, states that this achievement represents a significant milestone in furthering its mission to redefine infant health by providing an alternative to cow’s milk for women unable or unwilling to breastfeed.

“I am extremely proud to conclude this first round of financing, which marks a crucial stage in our development for us and our teams. The support of major investors in new technologies supports our ambition to become a leader in this sector. All families want to give their children the best: we want to help them achieve this, thanks to science,” says Eden Banon-Lagrange, co-founder and CEO of Nūmi.

Nūmi's logo
© Nūmi

Real breastmilk

Recognizing a need in the market — 70% of women face challenges with breastfeeding or choose not to breastfeed — the founders of Nūmi, Eden Banon-Lagrange and Eugénie Pezé-Heidsieck, are developing a cell culture platform that uses cells extracted from mammary glands to recreate in vivo breast milk in bioreactors.

Cow’s milk alternatives for breast milk lack the essential nutrients and components that are crucial for infant growth, including the 1,500 constituents found in human breast milk. It can cause allergies and digestion problems in many infants, explains the startup.

The breakthrough cell-culture technology will provide a natural solution for infants’ optimal development, as breast milk is considered the ideal food for infants. Its nutritional properties and ease of digestion boost immunity, regulate satiety and metabolism, and aid brain development.

a splashing bottle of milk

In terms of competitors on the market, Singaporean startup TurtleTree was previously developing cell-cultured human breast milk. However, the company shifted to precision fermentation to produce the milk protein lactoferrin and become a pioneer of animal-free proteins.

“Numi is our third Synbio investment, following earlier investments in Gourmey and Neoplants. We are convinced that Synbio will dramatically change how everyday products are made. Numi’s vision of empowering parents in need to feed their infants with real breastmilk while retaining the convenience of formula milk immediately struck a chord with us,” comments Yohan Pereira, Principal at Hearcore Capital.

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