Yumame Foods closes pre seed funding round

Foodtech startup Yumame Foods AG develops and produces vegan products based on fungi and fermentation. The startup has closed its first funding round with Swiss and Italian industry partners to accelerate the scale-up of its product and prepare for market entry in Switzerland.

Driven by the need to improve environmental sustainability, health, and animal welfare, consumers worldwide are on the hunt for vegan meat substitutes. Several industry reports predict that the global market for meat alternatives will experience strong growth in the coming years and reach a multi-billion dollar value by 2030. Despite the momentum in the category, current plant-based meat analogues still struggle to attract and maintain consumers. Products that strive to imitate conventional meat frequently contain artificial flavors and a long list of ingredients yet fail to achieve a natural mouthfeel and texture. The sustainability credentials of many plant-based meats have also come under scrutiny due to long supply and distribution chains.

Founded in 2021 in Küsnacht (Zurich), Yumame Foods is on a mission to develop healthy, tasty and sustainable foods that fundamentally overcome these limitations. The company blends fungi and fermentation to create vegan alternatives to meat: instead of aiming to simulate animal products, Yumame’s products have their own unique taste and texture, and undergo minimal processing. They are easily cooked with a variety of methods and can be produced in any location using local ingredients. This innovative approach lies in both the product formulation and the production process.

The proprietary formulations have been developed in collaboration with chefs and fermentation specialists. The poduct assortment is currently in final development and in industrialization. "We plan to enter the Swiss market in a few months from now through selected restaurants and shops. This will enable to further optimize the products before their scale up to possible serve retailer chains in the near future, first in Switzerland and then in further countries," said Eliane Zamprogna, Founder and CEO of Yumame.

The new investment round was supported by Italian food company Molino Quaglia S.p.A. and Swiss company Juna Holding AG. The funds will accelerate the industrialization of Yumame’s consumer products ahead of their launch on the Swiss market. Founder and CEO Eliana Zamprogna Rosenfeld says a large proportion of the money will go towards further optimizing the production capacity, as well as the product’s shelf life and nutrient profile. Yumame will also develop further recipes to expand its range. This will happen alongside investment in the communication of the concept and brand, and consumer testing of the product ahead of launch.  The company has previously received financial support from Innosuisse and the startup program VentureKick. 

"We are thrilled to have closed this investment round with the support of leading investors, who have profound knowledge of the food industry and business development," said Eliana Zamprogna. "This achievement is a sign of confidence in our approach. The funds will enable us to better address consumers' need for tasty, simple and local foods that are nutritious and convenient to use in place of meat."

"We are really pleased to support Yumame Foods in this important step into the domestic market and to prove that food can be made fundamentally more sustainable by using local resources and efficient production methods," said Philipp Balmer, CEO of Juna Holding AG. “It is also a key milestone in terms of the future internationalization of the products and extension into other food categories,” added Lucio Quaglia, CEO of Molino Quaglia S.p.A.

(Press release / RAN)