An Africa growing food tech hub, De Novo Dairy situated in South Africa is the continent’s first precision fermentation dairy setup. The growing food tech hub has announced the closure of its successful round of pre-seed funding that will enhance the company to push forward on R and D.
De Novo Dairy, a Cape town based food tech company was launched early this year and on a mission to pioneer animal-free foods in Africa through the use of precision fermentation technology.
The food tech hub is one of the growing startups using pioneering precision fermentation around the globe, the company is creating dairy proteins identical to the ones found in nature, without cows or cruelty.
De Novo, Africa growing food tech hub
Africa’s alt protein scene is diversely on the rise as environmental issues, changes in weather, and growth of food insecurity come to the limelight. Vegan meat brands such as Nigerian-based VeggieVictory and longstanding Durban-based player Fry’s Family Food Co. are offering more options to consumers.
So also are new companies such as Sea-Stematic, the first South African cell-cultured seafood enterprise, and Mzansi Meat, a cultivated meat startup that is also based in South Africa.
The plant-based sector has continued to enjoy tremendous growth in Africa due to concerns about the welfare and sustainability of most animals. Domestic startups coming up with innovative ways into everyday food choices has to ensure this trajectory continues.
“The massive amount of international funds flowing into the African continent is an absolute game-changer for food technology companies such as De Novo Dairy. We are finally getting the opportunity to put South Africa on the map as a hub for food tech companies,” stated De Novo’s founder and CEO Jean Louwrens.
Animal-free dairy on the rise
Looking at using precision fermentation technology to create a variety of milk-based products including baby formula, De Novo is partnering with a host of other startups in the sector such as US-Australian Change Foods (which is laser-focused on animal-free cheese made from casein and Formo), a German dairy-free cheese company (that recently raised a record-breaking US$50 million Series A).
Perfect Day is undoubtedly the young industry’s de facto giant (the company has announced animal-free whey cream cheese, protein powder, and cake mix in recent months), and its Bravo Robot ice cream continues to dominate on the shelves in stores.
Earlier this month, the company food tech hub scored a big win with Starbucks, currently testing Perfect DAY’s milk at a few pilot locations.