ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Food and biotech startup Cultivated Biosciences has raised $1.5 million in its pre-seed funding round.

Cultivated develops a fat ingredient, made using fermentation and GMO-free, oleaginous yeast, that helps bridge the texture gap between plant-based dairy products and traditional ones.

“We are beyond excited to build a solution that will elevate the mouthfeel of the plant-based dairy category and ensure that it’s simply better and cheaper than its factory farmed equivalent,” said Tomas Turner, chief executive officer and co-founder of Cultivated.

Leading the financing round was Wingman Ventures, a Swiss-based venture fund, along with food tech investor groups Big Idea Ventures, Blue Horizon, ProVeg International and FoodHack.

The investment funds will go toward optimizing production processes, researching food applications and product testing with select clients beginning in 2023.