Israeli startup Yofix Probiotics announced today that it had closed a $2.5 million Series A with participation from investors Müller Ventures, the French Bel Group, and U.S.-based LionTree Partners. This brings the company’s total funding to $4.5 million.
Founded in 2014, Yofix makes a range of plant-based yogurts made with natural ingredients such as oats, lentils, and sesame. It differentiates itself from other vegan yogurts by prioritizing clean label ingredient lists (many plant-based options contain chemical stabilizers for thickness), skipping soy and fermenting its product to give the same probiotic makeup of regular dairy yogurt. Yofix launched its first product — plant-based yogurt — in 2019 under the Only brand.
With its new funding, Yofix will focus on global expansion and R&D for new soy-free plant-based dairy products, including cheese and frozen desserts. Previously, the company was the first participant in the Israeli foodtech incubator The Kitchen Hub. The company also snagged a €100,000 (~$110,000) grant from the PepsiCo 2018 Nutrition Greenhouse program.
I haven’t had the chance to taste Yofix’s yogurt yet, so I don’t know how it stacks up against its other plant-based competitors. And boy does it have a lot of those. There’s Lavva, whose pili nut-based ‘gurt I tried and really liked. Other startup like Ripple, Kite Hill and Coconut Collaborative also have plant-based yogurt offerings, as do Big Dairy corporations like Chobani, Yoplait and others.
In short, it’s a crowded shelf for plant-based yogurt, and many of them are also clean label and soy-free, so that particular pitch doesn’t exactly distinguish Yofix from the pack.
What will? Taste. There may be lots of options out there but, judging from my tests and internet reactions, a lot of products fall short of the mark when it comes to taste. The plant-based yogurt market is growing by 40 percent year over year (according to the Good Food Institute), which means there’s plenty of room for high-quality options out there. With some fresh funding in its piggy bank, we’ll see if Yofix can rise to the be the (plant-based) cream of the crop.