Such a Perfect Day as Cork-born start-up raises $34.7m

7 Feb 20191.08k Views

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Perfect Day was in the first batch of start-ups to emerge from the SOSV RebelBio accelerator in Cork.

Perfect Day, a synthetic biology (synbio) start-up based in California but with origins in Cork and which uses science to generate cow-free milk, has just raised $34.7m in a major funding round.

This brings to $74.7m the total amount of funding the company has attracted since starting up.

The company, originally called Muufri, was founded when Perumal Gandhi and Ryan Pandya applied to take part in the RebelBio life sciences accelerator, which began in Cork in 2014.

RebelBio can be considered the Cork success story that got away after it moved to London from Cork last year due to a lack of available local investment.

Close to 50 early-stage companies have participated in RebelBio and a number have gone on to raise significant funds. One of the graduates of the first batch was Perfect Day, which last year raised nearly $25m to develop synthetic animal-free milk. Another graduate company, Hyasynth Bio, which has genetically engineered yeast to create a range of cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes, last year raised $10m in strategic investment.

Cream of the crop

The new $34.7m Series B investment round was led by Temasek Holdings, Horizons Ventures and ADM Capital.

Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy protein is the same nutritious protein of casein and whey that is found in cow’s milk, but is produced without cows. The protein can provide a base for food with the same taste and texture of dairy, minus the impact on the planet.

The company takes a type of microflora or filamentous fungus and adds cow DNA sequences that can be 3D printed using synbio techniques to instruct the fungus to produce the same proteins that are found in milk.

It gets to scale this up to mass production by adding the microbe into fermentation tanks along with other nutrients, acids and water to produce milk.

The company is understood to have received its first patent for animal-free dairy proteins last year.

Disclaimer: SOSV is an investor in Siliconrepublic.com

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com