France’s Nutropy has raised €2 million in pre-seed funding for its animal-free cheeses and milk components. The female-led startup plans to use the capital to launch the cheeses on an industrial scale.
Founded by Nathalie Rolland and Dr. Maya Bendifallah, Nutropy uses precision fermentation technology to produce animal-free casein. This milk protein is what gives cheese its stretchiness and creaminess, and until recently could only be obtained from animal sources.
“We want to offer consumers a wide range of cheeses free of lactose and dietary cholesterol”
Additionally, Nutropy is developing animal-free dairy fatty acids. By combining these ingredients with cheese cultures, the company claims it can create products that are extremely similar to premium dairy cheeses.
Nutropy’s pre-seed round was led by Beast, Trellis Road, and Big Idea Ventures (the startup took part in the latter’s accelerator program earlier this year). Other supporters included VegCapital, FoodHack, Techmind, and the French government.
Nutropy is one of several companies across Europe making alt dairy products using precision fermentation. Others include Spain’s Real Deal Milk, Germany’s Formo, and the UK’s Better Dairy. The technology is said to be the most sustainable way to produce protein, using significantly fewer resources than conventional dairy and creating less pollution.
“As cheese lovers, we know the importance of cheese in our gastronomic culture and want to offer consumers a wide range of cheeses free of lactose and dietary cholesterol that are produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner,” said Nutropy CEO Nathalie Rolland.
The startup plans to launch its first cheeses within 24 months.