Califia just closed a Series D funding round of $225 million from international investors. The move catapults it into one of the top plant-based companies in terms of funding and growth.

Califia's latest round represents the second-largest VC financing for a plant-based food business, according to PitchBook data, propelling the startup into the ranks of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.

The financing is also yet more bad news for the US dairy industry, which saw two of its largest milk producers, Borden and Dean Foods, declare bankruptcy in recent months.

The Nondairy Queen

The name Califia originally comes from the Spanish legend of Queen Califia, who ruled the mythical island of California. While she may not be real, the company that named itself after her is, and they’re making a bid to reign supreme in the plant-based non-dairy market.

Califia Farms began as a juice company, squeezing unsellable, pockmarked or imperfect tangerines into refreshing juices, and creating a reputation for reducing food waste—a contributor to climate change. The company pivoted into almond milk and creamers and took off.

Califia markets its products as part of a lifestyle that values wellness, self-care, and digestive health—all things a plant-based diet is reported to do.

For more on how much the Beet editors love Califia's brand of milk and non-dairy creamers, see the Beet Meter. Want to add your own rating or review? Check out the Best Plant-Based Milks and add your opinion to the Beet Meter score!

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