Dairy alternative startup Eden Brew has raised $24.4 million in a Series A as it prepares to bring its animal-free products, including milk and ice cream, to market.
The two-year-old venture, created as a joint-venture by northern NSW dairy co-op Norco, CSIRO and its VC arm, Main Sequence Ventures, uses a fermentation process to brew the same casein proteins found in cow’s milk to mimic its texture and nutrition, but it’s vegan and lactose free.
Breakthrough Victoria poured $6 million into the raise, with Main Sequence once again chipping in alongside Orkla, Balmoral Blue, Digitalis Ventures, Possible Ventures and Radar Ventures.
The Victorian backing will see the business relocate its headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne as well as developing its research and manufacturing in Victoria.
This raise also brings star power to the cap table with pop singers Angus Stone and former Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning also investing alongside Splendour in the Grass organiser Paul Piticco and former Australian of the Year, gold medal winning Paralympian and tennis champion Dylan Alcott, via the Main Sequence social impact community fund Voice Capital.
Voice Capital brings investors from the arts, music and hospitality sector into VC deals, with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker backing plastics replacement startup ULUU alongside model Karlie Kloss.
Eden Brew launched in July 2021 with a $4 million investment from its founding trio. In May last year it banked $6.9 million thanks to Main Sequence, which held around 40% stake in the business at the time, and US-based Digitalis Ventures.
The latest cash injection is to help with regulatory and patent approvals before Eden Brew begins piloting commercial scale animal-free milk production and launch its ice cream to the food service industry.
Eden Brew CEO Jim Fader said the animal free dairy category stands to play a significant role in sustainably meeting the growing demand for food.
“We’re incredibly proud to continue to build our team in Melbourne and the investment we have received from Breakthrough Victoria is critical to enabling Eden Brew to commercialise,” he said.
Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said the startup is an example of what we can achieve in Australia when we bring together our strengths in science, investment and industry.
“Eden Brew’s animal-free dairy technology is world-first and they’re working with the dairy industry to meet the growing demand for proteins globally in an environmentally sustainable way,” he said.
The announcement comes on the eve of Food Frontier’s AltProteins 23 conference in Melbourne tomorrow, October 4 .