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Sofinnova Industrial Biotech

Bon Vivant, the French leader in animal-free dairy proteins, closes a €15M financing round, led by Sofinnova Partners and Sparkfood, to accelerate its precision fermentation offering for the dairy industry

Related Strategy

Industrial Biotech

Related Deal lead

Michael Krel

Related Company

Bon Vivant

Lyon, October 12, 2023, Bon Vivant, France's leading biotech company in animal-free dairy proteins, has completed a new oversubscribed round of equity financing totaling €15 million, accelerating its development to meet the current challenges of the agri-food market. This new round of financing is backed by Sofinnova Partners, Sparkfood and Captech.

Accelerating development in the B2B market
Supported by this funding, Bon Vivant plans to strengthen its research and development teams to remain at the cutting edge of innovation in its sector. As a leading player in precision fermentation, the Lyon-based start-up is asserting its unique 'ingredient supplier' model for the dairy industry. Its very aim is to help the industry meet the dual challenge of growing demand while limiting the environmental impact of its products.

Heading to a new agri-food era
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that by 2050, global demand for animal proteins will rise by 50-100%. Meanwhile, global milk production is falling. Furthermore, and despite our collective best efforts, the current agricultural production system remains one of the major causes of climate change. Bon Vivant, with its unique model and technology, embodies a new form of complementary agriculture which is more respectful of the environment. The principle of fermentation, which has been known for a very long time and was developed by Louis Pasteur, has until now mostly been used to make beer, or more recently to produce proteins for the pharmaceutical industry, such as insulin, or for the food industry, such as vanillin. Today, Bon Vivant’s innovation enables the production of milk proteins from precision fermentation.

Capitalizing on Bon Vivant’s unique and powerful technology
Bon Vivant is one of the only biotechs in the world to work on both whey and casein proteins. This unique capability allows the company to respond to specific food industry needs in terms of functionality and nutrition.

This new financing round led by Europe's most recognized biotech and foodtech investors also validates Bon Vivant’s technological lead in particular in terms of strain productivity, which is a key element to scale and meet massive demand from food industrials.

This funding will allow Bon Vivant to invest in its brand-new lab located in Lyon, to produce large amounts of samples to meet demand from its partners, and to accelerate its regulatory approval track, notably for the USA, where Bon Vivant plans to commercialize as soon as 2025.

Preserving our planet and reducing our environmental impact
As evidenced by the 1st European life cycle assessment carried out for Bon Vivant by independent expert Lorie Hamelin from INRAE Toulouse, compared with conventional milk production, Bon Vivant’s precision fermentation process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 97%, drinking water consumption by 99% and energy usage by 50%. Bon Vivant and its solution therefore represent a viable alternative that is well suited to today's challenges.

Stéphane MacMillan, CEO and founder of Bon Vivant, said: "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. 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. 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”.

Michael Krel, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, added: "Bon Vivant's pioneering work in animal-free dairy proteins through precision fermentation aligns perfectly with Sofinnova's mission to promote sustainable solutions for a healthier planet. We are delighted to support Stéphane, Hélène and the team as they continue to transform the dairy sector and contribute to a more sustainable agri-food era”.

About Bon Vivant
Founded in December 2020, Bon Vivant is a French biotechnology company that uses precision fermentation to produce milk proteins. These milk proteins are then used by food manufacturers to produce dairy products with identical nutritional characteristics, taste and texture to conventional dairy products, but with much less environmental impact.

About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm in life sciences, specializing in healthcare and sustainability. Based in Paris, London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over the world with strong scientific, medical, and business expertise. Sofinnova Partners is a hands-on company builder across the entire value chain of life sciences investments, from seed to later-stage. The firm actively partners with ambitious entrepreneurs as a lead or cornerstone investor to develop transformative innovations that have the potential to positively impact our collective future.

Founded in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is a deeply established venture capital firm in Europe, with 50 years of experience backing over 500 companies and creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2.5 billion under management. For more information, please visit: sofinnovapartners.com

About Sparkfood
Sparkfood is a subsidiary of Sonae, a multinational holding managing a diversified portfolio of leading businesses including food retail. Backed by a long-term value-driven family, Sparkfood funds & fuels next-generation European companies towards a sustainable and healthier future. From acquiring and operating small to mid-cap companies within the food industry to investing as an early-stage, hands-on, minority investor, Sparkfood is sparking innovation to nourish the world.
More information at www.sparkfood.com

Raphaël Abensour raphael.abensour@backbone.consulting
Simon Laplace simon.laplace@backbone.consulting

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