Israeli start-up Pigmentum raises $6M to make casein out of lettuce
Pigmentum, a start-up with makes casein using lettuce, has raised $6 million in its latest seed round.
Pigmentum uses genetically-modified lettuce to grow animal-free milk proteins, such as casein. Using lettuce as a host, the start-up harvests it, and later mixes its juice with other ingredients to obtain a liquid similar to milk.
The GM lettuce is able to produce casein, which can then be used to make dairy free from animal derivates.
Based in Kiryat Shmona and founded in 2018 by Tal Lutzky and Amir Tyroler, CEO and COO respectively, the start-up’s latest $6 million seed round has seen investment from Israeli VC firm Arkin Holdings, Kibbutz Yotvata – who jointly with the Strauss Group own Yotvata Dairy, one of Israel’s largest dairy companies – and private investors.
“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,” Tal Lutzky told The Times of Israel. “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.”
The start-up hopes to go to market with their vegetable casein in 2025.