Bon Vivant Secures $15.9M In Funding For Animal-Free Dairy Proteins


Lyon, France-based precision fermentation startup, Bon Vivant, announced today that it has raised €15M (~$15.9M) in seed funding. The startup is using biotech techniques to reprogram yeast microorganisms to produce animal-free milk proteins with a substantially lower environmental footprint than traditional dairy. The funding round was co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Sparkfood, with participation from Captech Santé and other investors.

Key Takeaway

Bon Vivant, a precision fermentation startup, has raised

5.9M in seed funding to produce animal-free milk proteins. The startup’s focus on a business-to-business (B2B) model and its commitment to working collaboratively with the traditional dairy industry have attracted investors. By supplying versatile dairy proteins to the food industry, Bon Vivant aims to reduce the environmental footprint of dairy production while complementing traditional dairy products.

Focusing on B2B Model

One of the key factors that have contributed to Bon Vivant’s success in raising funding is its decision to focus exclusively on a business-to-business (B2B) model. Unlike its competitors, which are mainly business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C), Bon Vivant aims to be a supplier for the food industry rather than a direct competitor. According to CEO and co-founder Stéphane MacMillan, this clear and focused strategy has resonated with investors, particularly in Europe where most competitors have an unclear strategy.

Versatile Dairy Proteins for the Food Industry

Bon Vivant is developing microbial yeast strains that can produce whey and casein, two types of milk proteins. This versatility in protein production allows the startup to cater to various functionality needs of its target clients in the food industry, such as creating a gelling effect, foaming, and texturizing. By supplying animal-free dairy proteins to the food industry, Bon Vivant aims to help reduce the environmental footprint of dairy production.

Complementary to Traditional Dairy

While Bon Vivant’s animal-free milk proteins are indistinguishable from cow’s milk proteins, the startup does not aim to replace traditional dairy products. Instead, it sees its proteins as complementary to the dairy industry. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, Bon Vivant’s precision fermentation process offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional dairy production. The startup envisions a future where dairy products may contain a blend of both precision fermented proteins and proteins obtained directly from cows.

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