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Photo: Real Deal Milk.

The Spanish start-up Real Deal Milk opens a funding round of 2 million euros

The Spanish start-up Real Deal Milk (RDM), based in the Barcelona Science Park, has opened a €2 million funding round that will go towards boosting R&D activity and expanding its laboratory. The company has developed a system for producing milk and other dairy products based on precision fermentation to avoid involving cows in the process. RDM’s goal is to create a milk, cheese and yoghurt substitute product that has the same biological properties, taste and texture as these products and to sell it directly in supermarkets within five years.

The process used by Real Deal Milk is very similar to the fermentation that has been carried out over the years in the food sector in products such as bread or beer. It’s based on inserting cow DNA particles into yeast cells and then culturing them.

According to the CEO and founder of RDM, Zoltan Toth-Czifra, this process consists of “taking the cows’ DNA and identifying the parts that expel casein and whey, which are the two main groups of proteins in their milk”. Once separated from the other components, “they are introduced into the yeast and, through their culture in fermentation tanks, they are taught to grow and produce their own proteins, and then they are collected and purified”, he said. Subsequently, the rest of the elements that make up cow’s milk, such as fats, sugar, vitamins and minerals, are incorporated.

“We have to get closer to people’s habits and tastes, we want to offer an option that does not change consumers’ lifestyles but is better for the planet”, adds the entrepreneur. Along these lines, he reveals that “we are in the R&D phase to improve the performance of the fermentation process, scale it up and be able to industrialise it”.

Real Deal Milk was founded as a start-up in February 2021 by Toth-Czifra. It currently has a team of 5 people and is one of the 1,900 start-ups that exist in Catalonia. According to a study carried out by ACCIÓ, this figure has grown by 26% compared to the situation prior to the pandemic, and continues to increase. Moreover, as can be seen in this analysis, Catalan start-ups employ 19,300 people and practically half of them work with deep tech technologies.

Real Deal Milk has been awarded the Startup Capital grant from ACCIÓ, the agency for business competitiveness at the Department of Enterprise and Employment, aimed at boosting the growth of emerging companies with high technological potential. The start-up has received 75,000 euros to boost its technology in the initial phase.

Now, the start-up, which has just opened a funding round of 2 million euros, aims to sell these products directly to supermarkets in five years.

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