When it comes to reducing our individual carbon emissions, one of the most impactful steps we can take is to eat more sustainably. Global food production is responsible for 35% of all anthropocentric greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The footprint of cheese (10.8kg of CO2e per 100g of protein), generates the third-highest emissions in agriculture, after lamb and beef. And whilst the dietary emissions can vary greatly depending on the type of cheese you're eating, generally it is pretty carbon intensive. Whether from necessity or choice, people are choosing vegan food options more often than ever.
Fermify is the first biotech company to crack continuous precision fermentation to create sustainable and economically viable solutions for milk protein production. The company was founded by the serial vegan food tech entrepreneur Eva Sommer and Christoph Herwig, a highly prominent thought leader in bioprocess engineering.
Fermify’s platform provides a solution for in-house production of casein proteins, which is the missing piece to realize vegan cheese that tastes great and has the right meltability and structure. The company has more than 45 global customers in the pipeline and will start the first implementations at customer sites already this year.
“We have very strong demand from various customers and will have to select carefully the first 2 or 3 pilot customers that we start working with, allowing them to be first to the market with economically viable vegan cheese” says Eva Sommer, co-Founder and CEO of Fermify.
With its knowledge on digitalized bioprocess technology, Fermify is developing a simple and fully automated production platform to address the issue of large-scale milk protein production. Vegan cheese alternatives only have a market share of 2%, while plant based milk products have reached 20%. The main reason for this is the low quality of vegan cheese alternatives. However, analysts expect the global plant-based cheese segment to double from its current $2.7 billion to more than $4.5 billion by 2025. Food producers have a high urgency to act due to volatile milk prices, broken supply chains and increasing ethical concerns of customers. They are, however, missing the required biotech expertise. To get there, they are turning to companies like Fermify.
“With our unique technology, combining precision fermentation with digital twins, we satisfy multiple urgent needs, such as drastically reducing CO2 emissions and allowing vegans and flexitarians to enjoy cheese!” said Christoph Herwig, co-founder of Fermify.
Fermify has secured €4.5 million in a seed funding round led to accelerate the optimization and full digitalization of the bioprocess, as well as allow for team expansion to meet the global demand for its revolutionary animal-free production system.
“When I met Eva in Vienna, I knew I was speaking to a different kind of founder: one that can move mountains”, says Romain Diaz, General Partner at Satgana.
We look forward to support the team alongside Climentum Capital, Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund, Female Founders, Triple Impact Ventures, Übermorgen Ventures, PUSH Ventures, Clima Now and Simon Capital.
Vienna-based Fermify, is a startup on a mission to empower every dairy company to sustainably produce cheese with precision fermentation - without the cow. The company was founded by the serial vegan food tech entrepreneur Eva Sommer and Christoph Herwig, a highly prominent thought leader in bioprocess engineering.