Perfect Day, which creates animal-free, flora-based dairy products, announced today that it has expanded its Series C fundraise to $300 million. The new tranche is led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and follows the $140 million C round that initially closed in December of 2019. This brings the total amount raised by the company to roughly $360 million.
The protein is created by fermenting a genetically modified strain of the yeast Trichoderma reesei. Said yeast is submerged in media, where it ferments and excretes the β-lactoglobulin protein. The whole solution is then put through a centrifuge to separate out the protein, which is then filtered and dried to create a raw product. Add fat and water, and you’ve got something that’s essentially animal-free milk — and can be used to make ice cream, cheese, and basically anything that contains dairy.
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval of Perfect Day’s β-lactoglobulin protein, which the agency found to be Generally Recognized As Safe. In the letter designating the GRAS status, the FDA wrote that it “concludes that the protein characterization data shows that the sequence of β-lactoglobulin produced by fermentation is identical to commercially available bovine-produced β-lactoglobulin.”
Perfect Day’s technology is coming at a time when the global pandemic has highlighted inefficiencies in the global food supply chain. When restaurants and schools were forced to close, traditional dairies lost those customers and began dumping millions of gallons of milk down the drain. Perfect Day’s technology is more akin to a factory, so it is able to ratchet production up or down depending on demand.
Perfect Day products are already starting to appear in the market. In May of this year, the company started working with San Francisco-based Smitten Ice Cream to make a line of flora-based ice creams. (We really liked it.) Hopefully with this new funding, the company can quickly expand production and its footprint.