Berlin-based startup Legendairy Foods has raised €4M to develop cheese and other dairy products that have the same composition as milk but are not derived from animals.
The fundraising was co-led by food tech investor Agronomics and M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck. CPT Capital, an investor in alternative proteins, also participated in the round.
Founded in 2019, Legendairy Foods uses microbial fermentation to produce the same proteins that are found in cow’s milk, such as casein and whey protein. By combining these proteins with plant-based fats, the company aims to obtain dairy products that behave like animal milk does, but contain no cholesterol.
The first goal of Legendairy Foods is to produce cheese. According to the company, current vegan cheese options do not contain casein and whey protein, which give cheeses made from animal milk their characteristic taste and texture.
Legendairy Foods is the first European company to work on producing animal-free dairy products that have the same protein composition as traditional dairy. In the US, this field is more advanced. In July, California-based company Perfect Day launched the first animal-free dairy product, a limited edition ice cream.