Animal-free Cheese Brand, New Culture, Closes Their $25M Series A Investment

21 November, 2021

Melding innovative science and traditional cheesemaking, this mozzarella is the first animal-free cheese to melt and stretch

SAN LEANDRO, CA (November 22, 2021) – Having proven their ability to produce animal-free casein and animal-free mozzarella, New Culture has closed their Series A funding round, enabling the company to make the transition to a commercial entity by making key hires and scaling up their production capacity. The $25m, oversubscribed round was led by Ahren Innovation Capital and CPT Capital, putting New Culture in a league amongst renowned scientists and leaders across cutting-edge fields.

New investors include ADM Ventures and Be8 Ventures, backed by two of the most established and respected global companies in the food and fermentation industries, ADM and Dr. Oetker. Additional new investors include S2G Ventures and Future Ventures.  Existing investors participating in the round are Evolv Ventures (the corporate venture arm of Kraft Heinz), SOSV’s IndieBio, Bee Partners, Mayfield, Alumni Ventures Group, and Bluestein Ventures.

New Culture is leading the global movement to an animal-free dairy future. Offering animal-free dairy products that are indistinguishable from conventional products in taste, texture, function, and nutritional content, New Culture mozzarella is better for you, the planet, and our food systems. By harnessing the power of animal-free casein to produce animal-free mozzarella, this is the first animal-free cheese that stretches and bubbles like classic cheese. While other animal-free brands rely on starches, soy, and nuts, New Culture is forging a new path by combining traditional cheesemaking, fermentation, and food science to bring about a sustainable, new culture for the world of dairy.

The company has hosted an extended series of pizza tastings with industry experts and pizza lovers who have savored the taste, stretch, melt, and bubble of New Culture’s animal-free mozzarella. These tastings have highlighted the versatility of the New Culture cheese melting point, applicable in both 850° professional pizza ovens and 500° home ovens (while plant-based competitors top out in 500° ovens). New Culture cheese will first be available in select dining experiences in 2022, starting with mozzarella in pizzerias.

New Culture’s Co-founders, Matt Gibson and Inja Radman commented, “We’re thrilled to close our Series A with an incredible syndicate of existing and new investors. The progress we have made with our science and our cheese is a testament to the world-class team we have been fortunate enough to build and work alongside. We can’t wait to dive into this next phase of scale up and production to offer our delicious, melty, animal-free cheese to pizza lovers all across the country.”

“We’ve been impressed by the progress the team at New Culture has made in applying innovative science-based approaches to making high quality animal-free cheese,” remarked Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founding and General Partner of Ahren Innovation Capital, which co-led the round. “Ahren looks forward to supporting New Culture to bring its products to market in order to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.”

Co-lead CPT Capital shared, “CPT Capital is delighted to continue to back New Culture on its mission to create a more ethical and sustainable dairy company. Using cutting-edge technology and expertise, New Culture is creating cheese with the taste and texture of traditionally animal derived cheese, but with none of the negative impacts on the health of our planet, animals and human health.”

“What New Culture has accomplished in a short period of time through their several pizza tastings reinforces their market-leading position in developing animal-free casein,” commented Steve Sanger, General Partner at Evolv Ventures and New Culture Board Member. “Their focus on using that casein to produce animal-free cheese will allow consumers to enjoy everything they love about cheese (taste, melt, stretch, browning) without having to compromise, all while helping to make the world more sustainable.”

What makes New Culture unique is its ability to make animal-free casein. Stretch and melt are the hardest thing to achieve in vegan cheese because casein – the key ingredient that provides this cheesiness – is only found in animal milk…until now. Because of New Culture’s laser-focus on creating its own casein without any animal inputs, New Culture is able to achieve that melt and stretch, offering an animal-free cheese that is in a class of its own.

In addition, New Culture’s cheese mimics the nutritional content of conventional dairy, providing the essential protein and nutrients that consumers expect from dairy but cannot get from plant-based alternatives.

New Culture is available for interviews and additional details. For more information, follow along on Instagram @newculturecheese and contact Lilli Sherman at / (510) 541-5673.

About Ahren Innovation Capital – Ahren Innovation Capital is an investment institution that supports transformational companies at the cutting edge of deep science and deep tech. A group of highly diverse, creative and original thinkers leading their domains, Ahren Innovation Capital believes in taking considered risk that will deliver superior rewards – capturing a generational opportunity to provide smart capital to deep technology. With a philosophy espousing the importance of relationships and trust, Ahren Innovation Capital provides long-term capital and support to exceptional founders and teams, empowering them to achieve the unimaginable.

About CPT Capital – CPT Capital invests in visionary founders and innovative companies that are disrupting the future of food. CPT is a pioneer and a well-established investor in the alternative protein industry with a market-leading portfolio of first-movers across the plant-based, recombinant protein and cell culture verticals. Investing since 2015, CPT’s portfolio includes more than 50 direct investments in early-stage alternative protein companies around the world.

About Evolv Ventures – Evolv Ventures is a $100m venture fund that invests in early-stage technology companies disrupting the food industry. The fund is backed by Kraft Heinz and is led by a team of food, startup and venture capital veterans. Given the fund’s primary LP, Evolv is able to bring to bear invaluable relationships and ongoing operating support for our founders.

This press release does not constitute an offer of interests in any Ahren fund. Any offer of an Ahren fund will be made through separate offering documents and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This press release may contain forward looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, discussions related to Ahren’s expectations regarding the performance of its business, its liquidity and capital resources and the other statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. When used in this press release, the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Ahren gives no undertaking or assumes any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Ahren believes that selected case studies should be considered as a reflection of Ahren’s investment process, and references to these particular portfolio companies should not be considered as recommendations of any particular security, investment or portfolio company. The information provided about these portfolio companies is intended to be illustrative, and is not intended to be used as an indication of the current or future performance of the portfolio companies of the fund that Ahren manages.
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