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Pigmentum Raises $6 Million for Milk Alternatives


Co-founders of Pigmentum CEO Tal Lutzky and Amir Tyroler (Photo Pigmentum)

Pigmentum, an Israeli startup that develops non-dairy alternatives from lettuce, raised $6 million in a seed round of funding led by Kibbutz Yotvata, Arkin Holdings, American and Israeli family offices, private investors, and others.

Dairy alternatives are not just for people with lactose issues or vegans anymore. The development of alternatives for animal based products is now part of the worldwide campaign against climate change. Dairies, with all of the energy and resources that go into them, combined with the waste produced by all of those cows, are a major factor in global warming and pollution in general.

And Israel Startup Nation is ripe with startups making alternative food products to replace meat, fish and dairy. This is not only good for vegetarians, but it is also good for the environment because farmed meat, poultry and fish use up tremendous resources and leave behind waste that harms the environment. For example, Imagindairy, an Israeli FoodTech startup, develops animal-free milk proteins.

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Founded in 2018 by CEO Tal Lutzky, Amir Tyroler and Prof. Alexander Weinstein, Pigmentum has developed an innovative molecular technology platform that enables external gene activation in plants that could be induced at a specific chosen timing in response to an external signal. As a result, the specific chosen compound enters a hyper expression cascade, allowing the production of desirable natural organic compounds for the food (e.g., pigments, flavors, proteins, and bioactive ingredients), pharma, and cosmetic industries in extra high yields and scales on demand.

The technology relies on a plant genetics’ inducible mechanism allowing improved production scales & specifications of desired compounds, leading to major costs saving, organic waste reduction, higher process efficiency, and reduced carbon footprint.

“Our vision is to turn polluting cow sheds into agricultural farms that will produce functional cheese proteins, at the same quality and at a competitive price,” said Tal Lutzky, Co-Founder of Pigmentum. “The current food industry uses 80% of agricultural land to raise livestock. The ability to produce dairy components from plants has the potential to change the dairy industry and positively impact the world as a whole.”

“We are very proud to see Pigmentum’s achievements in the last two years and happy for the company’s success in completing a significant fundraising round in this challenging period, which is an expression of the investors’ confidence in their groundbreaking technology and in Pigmentum’s ability to bring sustainable and economic solutions to the food industry,” said Fresh Start’s CEO, Noga Sela-Shalev.



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