Plant-based dairy manufacturer Eclipse Foods recently confirmed the closure of a $40 million+ Series B fundraising round.
The investment was led by Sozo Ventures, with Forerunner Ventures, KBW Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Gaingels participating, amongst others.
This latest cash injection brings the plant-based dairy manufacturer’s total funding to date to more than $60 million. Previous backers include Reddit founder and serial plant-based investor Alexis Ohanian and Y Combinator.
Funding the usurping of animal-based dairy
Eclipse will use the $40 million+ to support retail and food service distribution growth. Increased brand marketing is on the cards as well.
It was founded with a mission to offer a sustainable, humane, and healthy alternative to cow-derived dairy products. Eclipse claims it can replicate any traditional dairy product using all plant-based ingredients. So far, it has focused on ice cream.
“With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, we recognized that global diets must change.” A statement from Aylon Steinhart, co-founder and CEO of Eclipse Foods, reads. “Consumers want more than just a dairy alternative like almond milk—they want a true replacement.”
He added: “Our plant-based dairy platform uses micelles (the microscopic magic of milk) to create the replacement products that consumers have been craving. And our growth over the last three years is a testament to that.”
Since its inception in 2019, Eclipse purports to have grown its retail presence by 2100 percent. Confirmed stockists include major grocery chains such as Whole Foods Market, Albertsons, and Vons.
Investors see the potential of plant-based dairy
“The number one reason consumers avoid plant-based dairy is taste,” says Koichiro Nakamura, founder and general partner of Sozo Ventures. “As self-proclaimed ice cream lovers, our team at Sozo Ventures recognized that Eclipse’s ice cream is in a league of its own after just one bite.”
He added: “70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant and with the alternative protein space projected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2050, Eclipse is positioned to completely transform the dairy industry with its proprietary plant-based dairy platform.”
From Unilever announcing the expansion of its range last year to UK brand Jude’s turning 50 percent plant-based, the vegan ice cream sector is growing. An increase in dairy alternatives comes as the animal-based sector has come under increasing consumer scrutiny.
Thanks to documentaries such as Milked, people are more aware of the conditions and procedures endured by dairy cattle and are looking for cruelty-free options.