Africa’s first precision fermentation company De Novo Dairy this week received an early-stage investment from Canadian cellular agriculture investment company CULT Food Science Corp. The investment strengthens the alt-protein space in Africa, as well as the ongoing investment boom in fermentation companies
CULT Food Science claims that this net-new exposure to cell-based dairy continues to broaden its cell-based portfolio, in which well-established companies can be found, including Singapore cultivated seafood startup Umami Meats and cultured chocolate leader California Cultured Inc.
Strengthening the food-tech industry in Africa
Being the continent’s first precision fermentation company in the alternative protein space, De Novo Dairy is planning to bring nutritious dairy substitutes to the South African market.
Founded in 2021, De Novo Dairy is focused on nutritious dairy products, including ice cream, creamy yoghurt and stretchy melty cheese products that provide real taste and texture of animal-derived dairy.
Alongside other African companies in the alternative protein space, including cultivated meat pioneer Mzansi Meat and cellular food-tech company Mogale Meat, De Novo Dairy is forming the third pillar in cellular agriculture innovation on the African continent.
Precision fermentation thrived in 2021
Following the ongoing success of Perfect Day, the industry leader and most-funded company in fermented foods, fermentation is on a strong growth path since 2019, where fermentation companies raised over 3.5 times more capital than cultivated meat companies.
According to the Good Food Institute, fermentation technology has emerged as an integral part within the alt-protein industry, opening another space race for manufacturers and investment companies to get market shares in the newly-emerging market.
Among the three types of fermentation used in the plant-based food space, precision fermentation had the strongest year in 2021, with $750 million in disclosed investment year-to-date (YTD), accounting for 55% of the total fermentation investments, as reported by Food Strategy Associates.
“It really is inspiring to see all the international support De Novo Dairy has been receiving for our mission to improve human nutrition while removing animals from the food chain. Having Cult Food Science on our side has definitely taken it to the next level, and we look forward to what we will achieve together in the coming years,” comments Jean Louwrens, CEO of De Novo Dairy.