Betting on microbial fermentation as the best way to replicate dairy
Bengaluru-based startup Phyx44 has raised $1.2 million in seed round of funding to develop animal-free milk proteins and fats for use in dairy products. Phyx44 is using precision fermentation of microbes to create the full stack, whey and casein proteins and fatty acids, to recreate dairy. These components are identical to the ones found in traditional dairy, but they are animal-free, lactose-free and planet-friendly.
The team at Phyx44 has already made whey and casein proteins at lab scale and are in the process of scaling them up. Fermentation is a key pillar of smart protein, globally known as alternative protein.
Building a full stack enables Phyx44’s products to be used in a host of applications, including ice-cream, cheese, baked goods, and more, advancing the alternative dairy sector across dimensions of taste, functionality, and accessibility.
While based in India, Phyx44 has aspirations of being a global player. The low cost of R&D and manufacturing in India (many fold cheaper than US or Europe) has its benefits as is evident from India’s strong supply base for vaccines, insulin etc. for countries around the world.
With $1.2 million in funding from Better Bite Ventures, Ahimsa VC, PeerCapital, Spectrum Impact, Rohit Gulati (MD & Partner at Boston Consulting Group), Sandhya Sriram (CEO, Shiok Meats) and others, Phyx44 will accelerate R&D, expand the team and work on co-development of product formulation with key partners.
The biotech-enabled food science company has also received backing from Big Idea Ventures and Humane Society International, among others. The company’s first product is expected to launch in 2024 in Singapore and India.