Dairy company Perfect Day raises $300m in Series C

The California-based start-up produces animal-free dairy products through microflora fermentation
Perfect Day founders
From left: Perfect Day founders Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi. Photo as seen on Perfect Day Instagram feed

Challenger brand Perfect Day has closed a Series C funding round of $300 million led by a $50 million cash injection from Thematic Investing, a division of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Temasek, an existing investor, also participated in this round.

Headquartered in California, Perfect Day was founded in 2014 by Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi. The company produces animal-free dairy proteins (whey and casein) through microflora fermentation. This biotech process enables the company to bypass the animal, thus manufacturing sustainably.

The start-up is pioneering the use of flora in the manufacturing process as the business aims to help make the world kinder and greener.

“First we took milk’s essential genes and added them to microflora – a tiny organism that comes from nature and can produce large amounts of pure protein,” reads a statement on the company website.

“Then, our dairy flora can use fermentation to convert plant sugar into milk proteins — whey and casein — that are nutritionally identical to those that come from cows, but without the downsides. We call this flora-made dairy protein since it comes from flora instead of animals.”

The proteins that Perfect Day produces have the same molecular profile of that of the cows, and can be used to produce dairy products of all kinds.

The company initially raised $140 million for its Series C last December in a round led by Temasek. The start-up then extended the round to welcome Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The new funding round follows a Series B that closed in February 2019 with $34.8 million. The round was led by Horizons Ventures and Temasek. The animal-free dairy producer now has closed six funding rounds to date totalling more than $360 million.

In April, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Perfect Day with the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). The approval means that Perfect Day’s fermentation-based products are safe to eat.