FRANCE – French biotech company Bon Vivant has raised US$15.9 million to accelerate the production of dairy-identical proteins.

Based in Lyon, Bon Vivant specializes in creating whey and casein proteins from modified yeast, which are molecularly identical to those found in cow’s milk and are considered superior in terms of nutrition compared to plant-based alternatives.

The latest round of funding was provided by European venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners, next-generation investor Sparkfood, and the French regional fund Captech Santé Nutrition.

The investment aims to enable Bon Vivant to invest in its new laboratory, with the aim of scaling up the production of food-grade samples.

“We are very proud of this new stage in the development of Bon Vivant, which enables us to welcome leading investors from the biotechnology and agri-food industries to our capital,” Stéphane MacMillan, CEO and founder of Bon Vivant stated.

He noted that it will also support the company’s focus on fast-tracking its path to regulatory approval in the United States, with plans to enter the U.S. market by 2025.

According to the company, Bon Vivant’s precision fermentation-derived milk proteins are known for being significantly less energy-intensive than traditional dairy production methods.

In an effort to underscore their commitment to sustainability, the company commissioned a lifecycle assessment conducted by Lorie Hamelin from INRAE Toulouse.

The assessment revealed that Bon Vivant’s process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 97%, slashes water consumption by 99%, and cuts energy usage by 50% compared to traditional farming practices.

“This round of financing confirms the growing demand for precision fermentation as a solution to the tremendous challenges the agri-food industry, particularly the dairy industry, is facing,” Stéphane noted.

“The aim is threefold: to increase the number of developments with our customers, to produce on an industrial scale, and to prepare for commercialization by 2025. It should also enable us to grow as the French world leader.”

In addition, Michael Krel, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, highlighted the alignment between Bon Vivant’s pioneering work in animal-free dairy proteins through precision fermentation and Sofinnova’s mission to promote sustainable solutions for a healthier planet.

He expressed delight in supporting the company’s efforts to transform the dairy sector and contribute to a more sustainable era in agri-food.

“Bon Vivant’s advancements in creating dairy-identical proteins offer an environmentally friendly and nutritionally superior alternative to traditional dairy production,” he said.

“The recent funding injection will help the company further develop its technology, expand its presence in the U.S. market, and contribute to the ongoing evolution of the dairy industry toward more sustainable practices.”