Globes readers have voted for Israeli startup Remilk, which has developed milk proteins as an alternative to milk from cows, as their favorite startup, as part of the Globes Most Promising Startups of 2022 ranking. In second place was software developer Rivery, which provides platform for data teams gather information and solve their most complex data challenges with pre-built data connectors and pipeline templates. In third place was Juno Journey, which has developed technology to manage human resources with a system to track an employee's journey into a role including personal learning and development.
The favorite startup survey received more than 21,000 page views on the Globes website in recent weeks and thousands of votes from Globes readers. This year, the 30 early stage companies that were ranked in the highest places by over ninety investment funds active in Israel in the Globes Most Promising Startups of 2022 ranking, competed for the title.
Remilk is striving to change the milk alternatives market through a process that is reminiscent of the way that wine is produced or bread is baked: fermented with yeast. The company's secret ingredient that enhances fermentation is a creation of special yeast by introducing a genetic sequence identical to that of the cow into the nucleus of the yeast and duplicating it under laboratory conditions. At the end of the process, milk proteins identical to animal milk proteins are obtained, free of DNA, cholesterol, hormones and antibiotics.
The product - milk protein powder, which is sold to food manufacturers that use it as a basis for the creation of each of the dairy products: hard and soft cheeses, yogurt, drinks, ice creams and of course - milk. Tara, for example, signed a ten-year agreement with the company last summer. Beyond the health advantages of the cultured milk, the product also carries with it an environmental and economic message: the production of the milk in Remilk requires only a small part of the amount of water, space and energy needed to operate dairy farms and filter the traditional milk afterward.
From a valuation of $30 million to $455 million in two years
Remilk's valuation soared from $30 million in 2020 to $455 million at the beginning of the year, when it increased its valuation with the raising of $120 million in its Round B to help it finance construction of a new factory in Denmark. One factor contributing to its increase in value was the Self-Affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) regulatory status it obtained in accordance with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, which paved the way for signing agreements with several US food giants, and Israeli dairy Tara, the company's only customer whose name has been disclosed. FDA procedures are not fully complete, and Remilk must respond to a range of scientific questions, although it can continue with sales in the meantime.
Remilk is not operating in a vacuum and rivals include: California-based Perfect Day, which produces proteins through a fermentation process based on fungi, New Zealand company New Culture which conducts fermentation using microbes; and German company Formo, which uses a similar technique. These startups are in a race where there are many bottlenecks: building or renting production plants that can produce on a scale suitable for the ever-increasing demand for milk substitutes, and signing agreements with dairy product manufacturers.
Remilk was founded by Aviv Wolff and Dr. Ori Cohavi and has more than 100 employees. The company has raised $150 million to date from investors including Hanaco Ventures, Tal Ventures, Fresh Fund and Precision Capital. Remilk's strategic investors include Tnuva, Central Bottling Co., and German dairy Hochland.
"Globes" will unveil its 2022 Most Promising Startups rankings on Wednesday, December 14. This is the 17th year of the rankings.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 12, 2022.
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