New Culture, the San Francisco startup making animal-free dairy cheese, closed $3.5 million in seed round funding. The round was led by Evolv Ventures, the $100 million venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz investing in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry. Other investors include Bee Partners, Mayfield, CPT Capital, Boost VC and SOSV who followed on after its initial pre-seed investment through IndieBio.
The startup, which was founded in late 2018, uses fermentation instead of animals to make dairy proteins, which is indistinguishable from animal-based dairy cheese in taste, texture and function.
Coming out of the biotech accelerator program IndieBio, which other innovative food startups such as Memphis Meats, Clara Foods and New Age Meats have graduated from, New Culture was quick to raise a highly sought after seed round.
“We’re excited to lead the seed round for New Culture. We have been impressed by what the team accomplished during IndieBio in a short period of time and look forward to supporting their vision to produce animal-free dairy cheese. This is another example of our focus on investing in the leading companies across the food value chain,” Evolv Ventures General Partner Steve Sanger said, in a statement.
New Culture will remain in the San Francisco Bay Area as it looks to set up an R&D and fermentation facility while also growing its team.
New Culture CEO and co-founder Matt Gibson said, “It’s fantastic to have the support of our investors as we look to grow the company and scale New Culture’s unique fermentation technology. We want to disrupt one of the oldest and largest food industries in the world by producing a better dairy cheese for anyone to enjoy — whether you’re a cheese lover, lactose-intolerant, vegan, environmentally conscious or health-conscious. The capital, knowledge and network our investors bring to New Culture enables us to begin doing that.”