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Animal-free dairy company expands Series C to $300m

TAGS: Business
Food tech leader proves strong positioning and supply for sustainable animal-free dairy products.

Perfect Day, a global leader in the research, development and production of animal-free dairy, has announced the expansion of its Series C to $300 million through a new tranche led by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). This follows an initial $140 million Series C round shared late last year, which was met with additional inbound interest after production breakthroughs in the company's proprietary flora-made dairy proteins.

Over the past several months, Perfect Day has doubled its ability to produce its hallmark protein while substantially reducing costs several years ahead of expectations. These production milestones — coupled with an enlarged Series C round led by $50 million from CPP Investments’ Thematic Investing group and bolstered by long-time supporters Temasek and Horizons Ventures — mark the beginning of a new chapter for the startup in California's Bay Area. Perfect Day’s flora-made protein also recently achieved a major regulatory milestone in the successful completion of the Food & Drug Administration review of its generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status.

“We never doubted we’d reach this point; we just didn’t expect to get here so quickly, and thanks to our world-class team and investors, we’re not planning to take our foot off the pedal anytime soon,” Perfect Day co-founder and chief executive officer Ryan Pandya said. “The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how fragile our food system is. We’re committed to building real change that prioritizes diversity, agility and resilience.”

While the dairy industry has experienced a supply glut in the face of COVID-19 that is driven by long production cycles, centralized manufacturing and limited processing facilities, Perfect Day holds a unique advantage: By producing dairy proteins through fermentation in microflora instead of cows, the company and its partners can quickly increase or decrease production depending on demand. It can also allocate a stable protein supply to where it is needed most. Perfect Day also plans to build a turnkey network of localized animal-free dairy protein producers and processors to avoid unnecessary supply chain bottlenecks.

“This marks the first investment into Thematic Investing’s new Climate Change Opportunities strategy, which will focus on innovative companies that are well positioned to respond to the challenges posed by climate change,” said Leon Pedersen, managing director, head of Thematic Investing. “Sustainable technologies like Perfect Day are poised to capture structural shifts in industrial practices, physical resources and consumer preferences for environmentally conscious options, which are well suited to our long-term investing approach. We look forward to building our partnership with the company and its management team.”

Perfect Day co-founder Perumal Gandhi said, “We’re grateful for the continued support of our investors from all over the world, but of course, our mission is about much more than money. We continue to believe the next generation of protein will be driven by production speed, price and taste, and we’ll have several exciting updates to share in the months ahead as our commercial partners start to build momentum.”

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