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Plant-based alternatives to milk and dairy products: BayWa Venture GmbH invests in YoFix Probiotics

BayWa has continued to expand its activities in the field of alternative proteins by investing in the Israeli start-up YoFix Probiotics. The investment, completed through BayWa AG’s investment and collaboration arm BayWa Venture GmbH, formed part of YoFix Probiotics’ second financing round, in which it raised a total of USD3.5 million. YoFix Probiotics produces alternatives to milk and dairy products such as yoghurt and porridge, using oats, lentils, sunflower seeds, sesame and coconut in place of milk.

“Investing in solutions dedicated to developing high-protein, plant-based foods represents a strategic milestone both for us at BayWa and for the food chain as a whole,” says Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG. “YoFix has developed a unique additive-free, zero-waste production process for its healthy and tasty dairy alternatives. By combining our efforts, we are looking to meet the rising demand in Europe for plant-based, sustainable, dairy-free products.”

“This investment reaffirms our commitment to alternative sources of protein,” says Marcus Pöllinger, member of the BayWa Board of Management whose responsibilities include agricultural business in Germany. “We are also aiming to strengthen our role in the field of product trading and develop business relations in the manufacturing sector. At the same time, we are tapping into promising new sales channels for our customers in agriculture. We are responding to the changes in consumer demand, with plant-based food becoming increasing popular among a younger demographic in particular.”

YoFix currently offers two product categories in a variety of flavours: the dairy- and soya-free porridge Yo’Ridge and the yoghurt alternative Only, which is available in drink and pot form. Additional dairy-free alternatives are set to be added in the future, including cream cheeses, drinks, desserts and ice cream. YoFix Probiotics’ aim is to offer dairy-free alternatives to all current milk and dairy products

BayWa Venture GmbH

BayWa Venture GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of BayWa AG. Through its venture capital activities and collaborations with start-ups, BayWa Venture facilitates access to new technologies and the development of innovative business models for BayWa and its Group companies. YoFix Probiotics is BayWa Venture’s third investment in the field of alternative proteins so far this year. “A sustainable, healthy and secure means of producing plant-based proteins is required if we are to meet demand for non-animal protein sources,” says Marion Meyer, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at BayWa Venture GmbH. “We are taking on this challenge by investing in scalable, innovative technologies and establishing reliable and dynamic partnerships. Our investment in YoFix marks a further addition to our technology portfolio and a new area of application in the field of alternative proteins.”

BayWa Venture has already participated in financing rounds for the start-ups Amfora and Amai Proteins in mid-2021. The biotech company Amfora uses genome editing to increase the protein density of plants such as soya. Amai Proteins develops special proteins as ingredients for the food industry, such as a sweetener made from computer-designed proteins and produced using precision microbial fermentation.

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