As animal-free dairy alternatives become more popular, Hochland and Tnuva both took part in the vegan dairy technology developer's latest round.

Remilk, an Israel-based producer of animal-free dairy technology, has secured $120m in funding from investors including dairy product supplier Hochland and food producer Tnuva, The Times of Israel has reported, underlining the growth of vegan and animal-free food products.

Venture capital fund Hanaco Ventures led the round and was also joined by Rage Capital, CPT Capital, Fresh.fund, OurCrowd and Precision Capital.

Founded in 2019, Remilk uses a fermentation process that inserts genetic code into single-cell microbes to create milk proteins which form the basis of dairy products it claims are chemically identical to the real thing despite not using any animals.

The global diary alternatives market is expected to grow from almost $22.3bn in 2021 to $54bn in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 13%, rebounding from a lower rate of growth in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, according to Fortune Business Insights.

Just two months ago, another Israel-based artificial milk protein producer, Imagindairy, closed a $13m seed round featuring packaged food manufacturer Strauss Group.

In September 2021, plant-based dairy producer Ripple Foods raised $60m in a series E round backed by internet and technology group Alphabet’s GV subsidiary. Vegan dairy protein supplier Perfect Day secured $350m at a $1.5bn valuation the same month.

In addition to dairy, plant-based or animal-free meat products are also increasing in popularity. According to market research provider MarketsandMarkets, the market for plant-based meat products is expected to grow from $4.3bn in 2020 to $8.3bn in 2025.

Impossible Foods, perhaps the most visible name on the plant-based meats scene, secured $500m in a round led by Mirae Asset Global Investments in November 2021, but a more direct parallel to Remilk is Upside Foods, previously known as Memphis Meats, which produces meat products from cell cultures.

Memphis last raised money in a $161m round co-led by internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 in early 2020 that included food producers Cargill and Tyson Foods.

Aviv Wolff, founder of Remilk, told Times of Israel: “We are making dairy products that are identical to cow-milk products, with the same taste, texture, stretchiness, meltiness, with no cholesterol and no lactose.

“We have basically ported the whole mechanism of producing milk into a single-cell microbe. We do not need the ‘rest of the cow,’ and we surely do not need to spend resources in the process of creating a 900-kilogram animal.”

Hochland and Tnuva had both invested in a $13m round for Remilk in late 2020 led by Fresh.fund that also featured packaged food producer Tempo, OurCrowd, CPT Capital, ProVeg, Sake Bosch, Bradley Bloom, Amiad Solomon and Beni Nofech.