Investments & Finance

Perfect Day Secures $90M to Scale Whey Proteins, Co-Founders Step Down for New Leadership

Perfect Day, a US precision fermentation company producing whey proteins, announces that it has raised a pre-series E financing round of up to $90 million led by internal investors.

After securing the funding round, co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya and co-founder Perumal Gandhi have stepped down from a decade of operational management roles. “They now hand the reigns to a team poised to continue their work into a period of scaling production volumes and creating a profitable and future-focused business,” reads the announcement.

The Berkeley-based biotech also announced the company’s current president, TM Narayan, as the interim CEO to helm the business on its path to profitability. According to the biotech, Narayan will bring an “elevated” leadership to the company by offering his strong track record in scaling and managing businesses across retail, CPG, and similar industries.

Narayan will receive support from newly appointed board co-chairs Aftab Mathur from Temasek and Patrick Zhang from Horizons Ventures. Both VC firms are previous investors of Perfect Day, which has reportedly raised around $840 million to date.

Perfect Day and Unico Nutrition launch a hybrid protein powder featuring whey protein from fermentation and dairy proteins
© Unico Nutrition

New Decade for Perfect Day

The new capital will support the company’s strategic goals: to be a B2B global supplier of whey proteins (beta-lactoglobulin) produced by microbes instead of cows to make animal-free dairy and other products.

According to the statement, after many years of continued R&D, Perfect Day has successfully “de-risked” its technology, and it will start scaling its operations to reach the much-needed profitability with “proven unit economics.” 

The news also includes plans with major CPG partners to launch “whey from fermentation” (as Perfect Day refers now to its animal-free whey) products and new molecules made in the company’s nth Biology Hub that are said to bring the impact of precision fermentation to more products and markets.

“Perfect Day is thrilled to begin its second decade on the foundation of a first decade, which has already changed the future of our planet for the better,” says the company.

Brave Robot/ Coolhaus Mint Sandwich
©Brave Robot/ Coolhaus

A resilient future

The company’s whey protein debuted in 2020, claiming it to be the world’s first precision-fermented protein. Perfect Day established a CPG branch, The Urgent Company, to launch animal-free dairy consumer brands to promote its flagship product: Brave Robot (ice cream), Modern Kitchen (cream cheese), and California Performance Co. (sports nutrition). Additionally, in 2021, it acquired the ice cream brand Coolhaus to introduce a new range of animal-free cookie ice creams.

However, last year, Perfect Day sold The Urgent Company to Superlatus, a food tech innovator and distribution company with plans to develop a range of high-nutrition plant-based foods, including meats, milk, yogurts, dairy alternatives, snacks made from pulses, and pet food.  Perfect Day said at the time that the move would help the company focus on scaling its whey platform and establishing partnerships with large CPG companies. 

Meanwhile, the multinational companies that have introduced animal-free products, including General Mills’ cream cheese Bold Cultr, Mars’ CO2COA, and Nestle’s Cowabunga beverages, have discontinued or stopped trialing the novel products. On the other hand, Tomorrow Farms‘ brand, Bored Cow (made with Perfect Day whey protein), sales  its complete line of animal-free milk at Sprouts Farmers Market.  

“Ryan and Perumal achieved well beyond what anyone could have imagined possible when they founded Perfect Day in 2014, and we are now laser-focused on scaling that vision and securing a resilient future for the business and our planet,” said TM Narayan, Perfect Day’s new interim CEO.

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