HomeFrance-StartupsParis-based foodtech startup Standing Ovation wraps up €12 million funding round to...

Paris-based foodtech startup Standing Ovation wraps up €12 million funding round to develop sustainable milk protein alternatives

Closing an oversubscribed funding round, foodtech innovators Standing Ovation have picked up a new €12 million investment. Based in Paris, the startup is developing animal-free alternatives to milk proteins, to make animal-free dairy cheese a market reality. 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the foodtech sphere with one key trend sticking out – creating animal-free alternatives to popular proteins, without compromising on taste, texture and aesthetics. We’ve seen animal-free eggs and now, we have another player in the animal-free dairy cheese market – Standing Ovation. 

Creating sustainable protein alternatives is a core priority for foodtech and biotech innovators as it has become increasingly apparent that our current demand and craving for protein just isn’t sustainable. On an environmental level, animal-derived protein products are emitting high levels of carbon and on a societal level, it’s increasingly considered an unethical dietary choice. Animal-free food alternatives are very much a norm rather than an exception now. With this change, innovation is moving to the next stage – not just simply creating the alternatives, but creating them in a way that doesn’t compromise.

Funding to accelerate production

Paris-based startup Standing Ovation has just closed an oversubscribed Series A funding round at €12 million – above the initial target of €10 million. 

It was led by Astanor Fund Ventures, with the participation of Peakbridge, Seventure Partners, Big Idea Ventures, Good Startup, as well as a major player in the food industry. 

This Series A round, closed just 2 years after launch, will finance the next stages of development for the foodtech company, bringing its tech to an industrial scale. 

Supporting the food transition

Founded in 2020, Standing Ovation has plans to be a key player in Europe’s food transition. The company develops fermentative caseins to produce substitutes for cheese and dairy products that are animal and lactose-free. 

While our appetite for animal protein continues to be high, the animal industry accounts for about 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also an industry that is losing its appeal among a growing ethically-conscious consumer basis. 

The Parisian food disruptors use proteins produced by microbial fermentation to produce alternatives to our favourite dairy products. The company is able to produce caseins in fermenters, without needing any animal-derived products. Caseins are the major protein in milk (accounting for more than 80%) and also allow milk to curdle and give milk that characteristic melting ability. Standing Ovation has shown a way to use caseins with other products of vegetable or mineral origin to obtain replicas of cheese products, focusing on fresh and soft cheeses.

Astanor said: “Standing Ovation’s technology is a real paradigm shift in the market for dairy products of non-animal origin. Casein production is currently one of the biggest barriers to creating traditional cheese alternatives: it guarantees the same nutritional aspects, taste and texture as conventional dairy products. From a related sector of biotechnology, the founders have found the key to developing casein production. We’re really impressed with the team’s recent progress, whether it’s the development of his new products or of improving its production processes, and we are delighted to support them in this next stage of their growth.

This new funding round will be used to bring the casein production process to an industrial scale, improve its products processed and to initiate the regulatory process, while continuing to maintain an R & D activity with a view to developing new products and formulations. 

Frédéric Easter, President of Standing Ovation, said: “Standing Ovation’s technology has tremendous potential. However, bringing products to the market quickly requires significant resources, and more funding has become necessary. We would like to thank all our investment partners for their support and trust in the team.”

Romain Chayot, Scientific Director of Standing Ovation added: “In two years, we have developed a unique process. We are now in a very strong position to continue this momentum and approach stages requiring heavier logistics, and in particular,to scale up”.

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.
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