France-based dairy start-up Standing Ovation receives €12 million investment

September 21, 2022

France-based start-up Standing Ovation, which specialises in producing animal-free dairy cheese, has received a €12 million investment in a series A round of funding. 

Standing Ovation was founded in 2020, and uses laboratories to produce animal-free caseins, a protein found in dairy products such as cow milk and which also gives milk its white appearance. The recent investment will go towards the development of said caseins.

Investment in the development of an animal-free casein is considered integral for the vegan cheese market, as the protein provides the natural colour, nutrients, smell and texture of cheese products. The vegan cheese market was estimated to be worth around €2.5 billion in 2021, and the development of an animal-free casein would help win over new consumers and increase the market’s potential.

“Casein is the holy grail for the production of alternative options that match conventional products in nutrition, taste and texture, yet it has remained notoriously difficult to create,” said Eric Archambeau, co-founder of Astanor Ventures, the leading investor for Standing Ovation. Other investors that have backed the France-based dairy specialists include Astanor Ventures, Peakbridge and Seventure Partners. 

“In only two years, we have developed a unique and highly technological process,” said Romain Chayot, Scientific Director of Standing Ovation. “We are now in a strong position to build on this momentum and transition towards more logistically intensive stages, especially scaling up.”

In 2021, the vegan food market was estimated to be worth around €27 billion. Thus, investors are keen to support new start-ups specialising in animal-free innovations. In Europe, there are venture capital funds such as Five Seasons Ventures in France and Synthesis Capital in the United Kingdom, which are dedicated to investing in food technology. The two VCs reportedly raised around half a billion Euros in funds together in the past year alone. 

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