IRVINE, CALIF. — Cottage cheese brand Good Culture has completed a $64 million Series C funding round led by Manna Tree, with participating from SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and celebrity investor Kristen Bell. The funding will support continued growth and new product development focused on cultured foods.
Founded in 2015, Good Culture markets a line of cottage cheese with a thick and creamy texture and no preservatives, gums or artificial ingredients, according to the company. Offerings include organic, reduced-sugar and lactose-free cottage cheese and sour cream made with regenerative and pasture-raised milk. Since its launch, Good Culture has become the top selling cottage cheese brand in the natural channel and the top natural cottage cheese brand in conventional retail outlets. Products are sold in more than 10,000 stores.
“In just six years, Good Culture has revolutionized the long-overlooked cottage cheese and sour cream categories,” said Sylvio Petto Neto, director of Manna Tree. “We’re excited to add Good Culture to our large and growing portfolio of better-for-you brands such as Health-Ade. At Manna Tree, we are inspired to improve human health through nutrition, and we are confident that we can help Good Culture build on its strong foundation to become the leading cultured dairy brand.”
Jesse Merrill, co-founder and chief executive officer of Good Culture, said the company will use the fresh capital to expand its team, increase marketing efforts and enhance manufacturing, while providing liquidity to early shareholders including CAVU Venture Partners.
“We are evolving from a cottage cheese and sour cream brand to a healing cultured foods company, and this new round of funding will help propel our efforts to create positive food system change,” Mr. Merrill said. “Expansion and best-in-class innovation will continue to be primary areas of emphasis for the company. We’ll also deepen our commitment to real food and sustainable, regenerative farming practices through our partnerships with 1% for the Planet and B-Corp, and continue to build out a pasture-raised supply chain.”
SEMCAP Food & Nutrition, a recently launched division of Seminal Capital Holdings, previously invested in better-for-you granola business Purely Elizabeth. The unit is led by managing partner John Haugen, previously of General Mills’ 301 INC venture capital arm, an early investor in Good Culture.
“I’ve worked closely with Jesse and his team over the past six years and have witnessed firsthand their impressive growth,” Mr. Haugen said. “Good Culture has built a portfolio of remarkable products that are on trend with today’s consumer, and they are leading the way with their commitment to pasture-raised dairy and regenerative agriculture. This really aligns to SEMCAP’s mission to change humanity for the better, and we believe that fueling Good Culture’s growth is a phenomenal way to positively impact people and the planet.”