SAN FRANCISCO -- Nobell Foods has raised $75 million to introduce cheeses made from plant-derived dairy proteins, supporting its larger mission of creating a radically more humane and sustainable food system. Founded and led by Magi Richani, Nobell creates key dairy proteins, including casein, from high-quality soybeans, enabling the brand to make cheeses that taste, smell, melt, stretch, and even age like those made from animals, and challenging the way consumers think about and eat cheese.
Nobell's patented approach to making dairy from plants is the result of more than four years of research and development. Founder Magi Richani wanted to transform the food system and make cheeses that stretch, melt and taste like the ones from cows and goats. An engineer by training, Richani understood the crucial role that essential dairy proteins (caseins) play in giving cheese the qualities we love. Like all proteins, caseins have a unique genetic code.
Richani and her team at Nobell discovered how to recreate this genetic code in soybean seeds and grow plants that have the same dairy caseins found in animal milks. Today, Nobell can produce more caseins per acre more efficiently, sustainably, and cost effectively than cows. Using proprietary processes, Nobell extracts the caseins and uses them to make delicious cheese. Nobell will use funds from its Series B round to expand its team and farming partnerships, scale production and bring its product to market.
With its Series B closing of $75 million, Nobell now has over $100M in funding backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and notable support from Robert Downey Jr.'s FootPrint Coalition Ventures. Others joining this round include: Unovis, Germin8 Ventures, Fifty Years, AgFunder, Pear VC, GL Ventures, the venture capital arm of Hillhouse Group, and Mission Bay Capital. Prior to this Series B round, Nobell raised over $25M since launching from seed money startup accelerator Y Combinator in 2017. Nobell plans to launch its cheeses to the public by the end of next year.