Perfect Day, the US animal-free dairy start-up, has pocketed more investor funds to expand its ingredients and consumer products for B2B and retail clients.
The Berkeley-based business has secured US$350m in a Series D round from a group of existing investors, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP), the asset-management arm of the Canada Pension Plan and Singapore state investment firm Temasek. Bog Iger, the chairman of The Walt Disney Company, also joined the round.
Perfect Day, started in 2014 by bio-engineers Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi, has now attracted a total of $750m, including contributions from a Series C round last year. Its new financing will expand the company’s “biological engineering, ingredient innovation and consumer products”, the founders said.
Animal-free “precision-fermented” milk protein was one of the first products off the blocks supplied to B2B customers. In 2019, the business entered the consumer channel with The Urgent Company (TUC), which last year announced the commercial launch of its debut product, an animal-free ice cream under the Brave Robot brand sold into major US retailers.
“When we first started this almost eight years ago, we had the simple goal of creating a way to make dairy without animals,” CEO Pandya said. “We quickly realised that we could maximise our positive impact for the planet and the global food system by applying our technology and know-how across the supply chain.”
A new brand of dairy-free “household staples” has just been launched from TUC – Modern Kitchen – beginning with cream cheese, Perfect Day said.
The animal-free cream cheese will initially be available online in three flavours, Strawberry, Spring Onion and Chive, and Harissa Pepper, with a wider launch planned in southern California retailers “in the months ahead”.
Perfect Day set up TUC in 2020 with former Glanbia and Aseptic Solutions executive Paul Kollesoff, investing some of their own cash. It is “now a full-fledged part of the Perfect Day umbrella”.
Kollesoff, the general manager at TUC, said: “We’re so excited to see our second brand, Modern Kitchen, available to consumers. By applying science and technology, we’re able to make better versions of the same dairy products consumers love.”
Perfect Day said it added California-based SBF Inc., a “bio-process scale-up facility located in Logan, Utah, to the corporate portfolio” in the middle of last year. SBF will help its “offerings into ‘enterprise biology’, providing technology development services for companies looking to harness the sustainability and scale that Perfect Day has proven it can deliver”.
Also taking part in the Series D round were existing investor Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong venture-capital firm, and SK Inc., an investor in South Korea.
Iger, an American businessman and former CEO of Walt Disney, who is now chairman, said: “I’ve been so impressed by what Perfect Day has done in such a short time. I look forward to continuing to be part of their journey.”