UM6P Ventures Invests in De Novo Dairy, the First Alternative Dairy Precision Fermentation Startup in Africa
Produces nature-identical, animal-free dairy proteins for lower greenhouse gas emissions
CASABLANCA, Morocco, September 7, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Today, UM6P Ventures has completed an investment in De Novo Dairy, a company that produces animal-free dairy products that provides the same sensory experience and nutrition as their traditional dairy counterparts.
Nutrition is an extremely important part of living a healthy life for humans of all ages, however, many of these nutritious and important proteins for humans are harvested from animals. Animal-based proteins present potential pathogen risks and are not perfectly designed for the human immune system. In addition, these proteins are derived from scarce resources and are challenging to purify and too expensive for food manufacturers to include in their products. As a result, people will have less exposure and access to these important nutrients. De Novo Dairy's solution will aim to cost-effectively produce premium proteins that are animal-free, sustainable, and nature identical. Their proteins will replicate mammalian immuno-proteins in both function and nutrition using their uniquely designed yeast strain to express these selected proteins.
De Novo Dairy specializes in the production of milk proteins using precision fermentation of yeast strains. This allows them to extract essential cruelty-free milk proteins that are typically very scarce and difficult to obtain. The proteins developed by De Novo Dairy can be used within a wide range of products to improve and boost human nutrition. The startup is also targeting a wide range of industries including food, health, sports nutrition, and baby formula.
Precision fermentation has some unique benefits and an impressive safety profile contributing to its recent traction in the alternative dairy sector in the production of animal-free dairy proteins. It offers a meaningful reduction in energy needed to produce the proteins when compared to animal agriculture, lowers emissions, and eliminates animal welfare concerns making it an attractive alternative.
"Dairy alternatives have gained global traction over the last few years due to the health-related and environmental benefits they present. We are pleased to add De Novo Dairy to our growing portfolio of Deeptech startups, work with their talented management team and support them while improving the African food system," said Ikram Labtaini, Scientific Development & Operations Lead, UM6P Ventures.
As part of the Venture Builder support system provided by UM6P Ventures, De Novo Dairy will benefit from both capital funding and scientific support. They will be connected to our large network of investors including VC funds, acceleration partners, biotech corporations, and agtech scale-up entities throughout Morocco and worldwide. They will also take advantage of our subject matter support offer that includes growth strategy assistance, access to research and strategic partners to run R&D pilots, and assistance in navigating the CRISPR landscape. In preparation for growth and to help build an expansion team strategy in the triangle park North Carolina region, UM6P Ventures will assist in the launch of a De Novo Dairy subsidiary in that region.
"We are really excited to have the support of UM6P Ventures in this investment round. They share our vision and mission to improve human nutrition while removing animals from the food chain," said Jean Louwrens, CEO & Co-Founder, De Novo Dairy, and he added, "We are also thrilled to benefit from all of the support provided to help us accelerate both R&D and scale-up efforts and look forward to achieving future milestones together."
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Source: UM6P Ventures