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Kunal Shah, Y Combinator Back Dairy Alternatives Startup Brown Foods

Kunal Shah, Y Combinator Back Dairy Alternatives Startup Brown Foods

The round saw participation from institutional investors such as AgFunder, SRI Capital, Amino Capital, and Collaborative Fund

Brown Foods offers lab-based animal-free milk under the ‘UnReal Milk’ brand which it claims is ‘exactly similar’ to cow’s milk

The startup will use the funding to scale up operations and ramp up product development

Dairy alternatives startup Brown Foods has raised $2.36 Mn as part of its seed funding round. The round also saw participation from institutional investors such as Y Combinator, AgFunder, SRI Capital, Amino Capital, Collaborative Fund and angel investors such as Kunal Shah.

The startup will use the funding to scale up operations and ramp up product development, TechCrunch reported. The startup, with a presence in the US and India, will also invest more in the ‘bioprocess’ to launch a viable commercial product in the next few years.

Founded in 2021 by IIT-Delhi alumni Sohail Gupta, Avhijeet Kapoor and Bhavna Tandon, Brown Foods offers lab-based animal-free milk under the ‘UnReal Milk’ brand. It claims that its product is created using mammalian cell culture technology.

Brown Foods also claims that its product is ‘exactly similar’ to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional profile, taste, texture and could also be processed into butter, cheese and ice creams. The pre-revenue startup was part of Y Combinator’s winter 2022 cohort.

“We validated for the major macronutrients, the proteins, the fats and the carbs. We could see that the profiles for those were similar to milk at large-scale quantities, and as a result, we could say that we have a superior product from the lab”, Gupta was quoted as saying. 

India is the world’s largest milk producer, contributing 23% to the global milk production. According to a report, the market size of India’s dairy industry is expected to grow to $355 Bn by 2025. 

On the other hand, India’s dairy alternatives market was pegged at $94.92 Bn in FY21 and was expected to soar to $175.36 Mn by FY27, growing at a CAGR of 11.36% during the period. 

Meanwhile, Bengaluru-based dairy alternatives startup Alt Co. also announced in June that it has raised $1 Mn in strategic funding led by investors from Singapore, the Middle East and India. However, it didn’t name the investors.

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