Key investors and first-tier international dairy companies join latest capitalization round
Israel based clean-label dairy alternatives innovator Yofix Probiotics, Ltd., has concluded an extended series-A round of strategic investment from new key investors: Germany-based Muller Ventures, AG; the French Bel Group; and LionTree Partners LLC, based in the US. This brings in a total of $2.5M US in investment.
The new infusion of funding provides the startup with significant leverage for attaining global expansion of its current portfolio of award-winning plant-based yogurts. The funding also allows the company to accelerate development of its tech platform to launch more innovative soy-free dairy alternatives in additional categories.
“In the fast-growing dairy alternative space, Yofix offers a unique range of quality products, both in terms of flavor and texture,” notes Benjamin Bugl, Managing Director of Muller Ventures. “With no artificial ingredients, its clean-label solution is a powerful differentiator for consumer awareness and acceptance. Combined with Yofix’ strong management team, this makes it an attractive investment opportunity for Muller.”
Last year, Yofix launched a new generation of clean-label yogurt alternatives based on its proprietary zero-waste production process. The unique fermented formula is soy-free and composed of a short list of natural and highly nutritious ingredients, including oats, lentils, and sesame. It was carefully crafted to deliver the classic flavor and probiotic functionality of dairy yogurts without the dairy ingredients, serving the lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic population as well as offering a plant-based solution for the growing vegan and flexitarian markets.
“The rise of flexitarianism has led to strong, growing demand for plant-based products worldwide,” adds Fatine Layt, Head of France of LionTree. “Yofix has a unique positioning, offering 100% clean-label plant-based yogurt and a promising platform for delivering not only yogurts and drinkable yogurts, but a complete portfolio of real dairy replacements. More importantly, they hit all the desired organoleptic marks. We are enthusiastic to witness its next steps and facilitate its growth through our global network.”
Since the launch of its line of yogurt alternatives, the startup has been awarded the final $100,000 grant from the PepsiCo 2018 Nutrition Greenhouse program, and more recently was elected as one of the 50 most innovative companies at Anuga 2019 in Cologne.
“Receiving the financial investment by such prominent multinational players of the dairy industry is an endorsement of trust and confidence in our products and technology,” says Steve Grun, CEO of Yofix. “This fresh influx opens the door to new possibilities. Over the next few years, we will focus strategic efforts on expanding our line of dairy alternatives — which also includes oat yogurt shakes — into the global market. The support will also boost the advancement of our efforts toward developing more clean-label plant-based offerings that extend into alternative cheeses, frozen desserts, and milk alternatives — the prospects are boundless,” enthuses Grun.
“We are excited to work with Yofix, one of the most innovative startups in its sector,” says Caroline Sorlin, Plant-Based Acceleration Unit General Manager at Bel Group. “It offers a unique dairy alternative range for the market, combining great flavor, good nutrition, clean labeling, and respect for the environment. By taking part in the Yofix adventure, we are choosing to get closer to new players in the market that have key expertise and are developing the innovations of tomorrow. Bel Group is entering the plant-based arena for the first time, so this gives concrete expression to our strategy of combining the best of dairy and plant-based products. This approach is perfectly in line with our corporate mission: ‘For All. For Good,’ in favor of healthier and more responsible food for all.”
Yofix was the first startup to be housed by The Kitchen Hub, the FoodTech incubator established five years ago by the Strauss Group. (Strauss led the first leg of the seed round back in 2017.) “We are very excited about the future of Yofix. Strauss Group, through The Kitchen Hub, has long supported FoodTech startups. Yofix is one of the most promising startups in our portfolio,” says Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen. Other investors for this round include Good Seed Ventures and HWA, as well as initial investors CPT Capital and VegInvest.