Lyon-based Bon Vivant has received funding of €15m/$15.9m by European capital venture firm Sofinnova Partners, next-gen investor Sparkfood and French regional fund Captech Santé Nutrition.
The company produces whey and casein from modified yeast. The proteins are said to be molecularly-identical to those found in cow’s milk and nutritionally superior to plant-based alternatives.
This financing round will enable Bon Vivant to invest in its new laboratory in order to scale up the production of food-grade samples. The funding would also allow the firm to focus on accelerating its path to regulatory approval in the US, a market the company is planning to enter in 2025.
Bon Vivant claims its precision fermentation-derived milk proteins are significantly less energy-intensive compared to traditional dairy. The company commissioned a lifecycle assessment carried out by Lorie Hamelin from INRAE Toulouse, which showed that the firm’s process reduces GHG emissions by 97%; water consumption – by 99%; and energy usage by 50% compared to traditional farming practices.
Stéphane MacMillan, CEO and founder of Bon Vivant, said: "We are very proud of this new stage in the development of Bon Vivant, which enables us to welcome leading investors from the biotechnology and agri-food industries to our capital. This round of financing confirms the growing demand for precision fermentation as a solution to the tremendous challenges the agri-food industry, particularly the dairy industry, is facing. The aim is threefold: to increase the number of developments with our customers, to produce on an industrial scale and to prepare for commercialization by 2025. It should also enable us to grow as the French world leader.”
Michael Krel, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, added: "Bon Vivant's pioneering work in animal-free dairy proteins through precision fermentation aligns perfectly with Sofinnova's mission to promote sustainable solutions for a healthier planet. We are delighted to support Stéphane, Hélène and the team as they continue to transform the dairy sector and contribute to a more sustainable agri-food era.”