Prince Khaled Helps Dairy-Free Ice Cream Brand Secure $40 Million

|Updated Jun 30, 2022
Instagram / @eclipsefoods

Americans are feeling the heat, and this summer, Eclipse Foods is working to deliver its innovative, dairy-free ice cream to cool off consumers everywhere. The food technology startup just raised $40 million in a Series B investment round, claiming that the money will help expand its dairy-identical production and distribution range. To help Eclipse fulfill its promises of sustainable ice cream, Prince Khaled bin Alaweed join this funding round with his investment firm, KBW Ventures.

Founded in 2019, the Oakland-based company set out to develop a vegan ice cream product that perfectly replicated the creaminess of conventional ice cream. The company developed a proprietary method that uses cassava, potato, and corn to recreate dairy-free “micelles” that mirror animal-based dairy proteins. The final product is a molecularly dairy-identical ice cream that relies exclusively on plant-based ingredients.

Alternative protein specialist Aylon Steinhart and James Beard Award-nominated chef Thomas Bowman teamed up to challenge the existing dairy industries. This latest funding round brings the company’s valuation to $60 million dollars. The Saudi prince joins other key investors including Chairman of Beyond Meat Seth Goldman and Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian. One report claims that the dairy alternatives market is expected to reach $51 billion by 2028 with the help of advanced plant-based technology and methodology.

"With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, we recognized that global diets must change," Steinhart said in a statement. "Consumers want more than just a dairy alternative like almond milk — they want a true replacement. Our plant-based dairy platform uses micelles (the microscopic magic of milk) to create the replacement products that consumers have been craving, and our growth over the last three years is a testament to that."

Prince Khaled’s KBW Ventures joined several other investors during the most recent funding round. Sozo Ventures led the round, which featured several other venture capital firms including Forerunner Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Gaingels.

“The number one reason consumers avoid plant-based dairy is taste. As self-proclaimed ice cream lovers, our team at Sozo Ventures recognized that Eclipse’s ice cream is in a league of its own after just one bite,” Vice President of Narrative Development at Sozo Ventures Bob Roe said.“Seventy percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant, and with the alternative protein space projected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2050, Eclipse is positioned to completely transform the dairy industry with its proprietary plant-based dairy platform.”

Eclipse Foods Expands Into Foodservice

Eclipse secured its most recent funding package closely after announcing its partnership with Smashburger. Teaming up with the American fast-food burger chain, Eclipse is launching six vegan milkshakes at all 220 locations. The vegan flavor selection features Chocolate, Strawberry, Oreo, Tangerine Dream, Vanilla, and Peanut Butter options.

“We are so proud to partner with Smashburger to introduce the first-ever plant-based shakes at a national fast-casual chain,” Steinhart said earlier this month. “This partnership marks an incredible milestone in advancing the plant-based movement and signals Smashburger’s confidence in Eclipse as the plant-based dairy brand that mainstream consumers will crave.”

The partnership marks the company’s largest foray into the foodservice industry. Previously, Eclipse teamed up with Chef Matthew Kenney to serve a non-dairy cannoli ice cream exclusively at his restaurant Baia in San Francisco.

For more plant-based happenings, visit The Beet's News articles

The Ultimate Vegan and Dairy-Free Ice Cream Taste Test

Van Leeuwen Vegan Mint Chip Ice Cream

This brand is one of the best anywhere and their vegan choices are no different. The mint chip went the distance in our "food duels" to come out on top in the final five. We loved the fact it tasted like the real thing. One note: It's higher in fat than most other formulas.

So Delicious Dairy-Free Oh-So Strawberry Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert

We have never seen kids go as crazy for ice cream as these testers did for this tub of strawberry. It literally was met with chants and screams that it tasted like "real strawberry." If you, too, love strawberry, this treat is for you. Even if you don't, we think it's worth a taste.

Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Buns Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

If you love cinnamon, meet your new favorite treat. It's like if a cookie dough ball met a cinnamon bun. If you're carb-conscious, note there are 35 grams in a half-cup serving, and 25 grams of sugar.

Halo Top is the best pick for a health-conscious cookie-dough loving ice cream seeker. A serving (half a cup) has 90 calories and 3 grams of protein so if you want the fun of a sweet cold treat with fewer cals, this is your best option. That said, the texture is smooth, so if you're looking for chunks of cookie dough this isn't the right pick for you.

Oatly Chocolate Ice Cream

Oatly does it again. First, they claimed the high road with their oat milk that took the nation by storm this past summer. Now they've introduced oat milk ice cream that—we swear—is as delish as the classic, and offers seven classic flavors including chocolate, vanilla, salty caramel, strawberry, and hazelnut. We tasted four and loved them all. With 218 calories for a 2/3 cup serving, 23 grams of carbs and 13 grams of fat, this treat is right in the middle of the pack, health-wise. But you'll love every spoonful.

Koku Moringa Mint Chip

We loved the mint taste and if you like a thinner texture, here's your pick. It tastes like frozen yogurt and on a hot day that makes for a refreshing change from the creamier options. This version has half the fat and sugar of other mint chip varieties we reviewed.

Halo Top Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Halo Top is super smooth (no need to microwave it right out of the freezer—you can just dig in with your spoon). Our testers loved the milkshake-like quality but there were no chunks of peanut butter cup to be found. Still, with 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, this is among the less-indulgent choices.

365 Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Swirl Frozen Non-Dairy Almond Milk Dessert

This tasted like Moose Tracks, with chunks of chocolate chips and peanut butter swirls in it. We love that it boasts 5 grams of protein, but it also has 20 grams of sugar and 28 grams of carbs.

Van Leeuwen Vegan Peanut Butter Choc Chip Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

This is one of the richest of the bunch, and Van Leeuwen always over-delivers on its promise of taste and texture. The zingy peanut buttery aftertaste means just a little will leave you super satisfied, which is good as it packs a punch in carbs, sugar and fat.

Häagen-Dazs Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Non-Dairy

This top-five winner was the most like the real thing, and everyone went crazy for it. The chunks of fudge were epic. It's slightly higher in cals than most other picks, but it also contains 6 grams of protein.

So Delicious Creamy Chocolate Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert

If what you love is a classic chocolate ice cream taste, this delivers. It is creamy and rich, and anyone avoiding coconut milk will appreciate the cashew milk option. Still, with 23 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar per 2/3 cup serving, we would limit our consumption to 1/3 a pint at a time.

So Delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Coconut Milk Frozen Dessertge Template

For chocolate lovers, this is a great choice because it tastes like real ice cream and will satisfy your cravings. But if you're keeping an eye on saturated fat, this one is on the high end with 10 grams. Still, So Delicious has cracked the code on how to make a plant-based non-dairy ice cream that is delicious!

Cookie dough is a specific kind of treat that's like Kryptonite for some people. We are those people. Ben & Jerry's has figured out not only how to make non-dairy ice cream taste like it's creamy dairy counterpart, but the cookie dough does, too. How do they do it? We don't care, we just want more. Caveat: One pint has 1050 calories, and a serving according to the label is 1/3 of a pint. With 49 grams of carbs per serving, proceed with caution.

Sometimes you think you don't love something but you just keep eating it. That was the experience with NadaMoo! Dairy-Free Birthday Cake Cookie Dough. It went fast. Even when some of the testers claimed it wasn't their favorite, they kept digging in for more. We say: Do you.

Koku Dark Cacao With Reishi Ice Cream

This one was so dark and rich it almost tasted like there was a cherry aftertaste. For dark chocolate lovers, this is the closest thing you'll get to a dark chocolate bar taste in ice cream. The coconut cream base adds a higher saturated fat content, but it's lower in sugar than other options on our list at only 9 grams.

NadaMoo! Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert, Dutch Chocolate

This chocolate treat has the least calories per serving of any that we tested, but still delivered all of the taste you're sure to want from chocolate ice cream. It had a mousse quality that made it fluffy and light. We love the fact that this family-owned company has been creating non-dairy treats for over 15 years and growing strong. Yesamooooo.

This one had actual pieces of oatmeal cookie in it, and we watched the testers go completely bananas for it. The ice cream tasted like the real thing and the cookies were legit home-made quality. How they do this we don't know but if you love oatmeal cookies, you will love this flavor. Nutrition-wise, this option is higher in fat, carbs and sugar plus contains palm oil.

Halo Top deserves kudos for trying to be the healthier choice among non-dairy treats, and we love the overall taste. But if you are looking for a chunky cookie filled ice cream, this isn't the choice for you. It's more like a frozen smoothie with an oatmeal cookie vibe. With just 70 calories and 3 grams of fat in half a cup, this is a great choice if you're watching your intake.

Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle Non-Dairy

If you love salty-sweet mash-ups, this is the one for you. But if you're not into salt—skip this. Haagen-Dazs knows what it's doing—and their dairy-free ice creams are as craveable as the classics. Don't worry about serving to non-vegans; they won't have a clue this is plant-based.

NadaMoo! Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert, Rockiest Road

If you like rocky road this will give you the fix you need. Our taste-testers loved the marshmallow sugary sweetness and rocky texture, but ultimately it didn't make our top five, which was a mystery to one tester who basically devoured the entire pint. That goes to show—every flavor has its fans. Lower in calories per serving sugar and carbs, so pls enjoy!

So Delicious Peachy Maple Pecan Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert

Maple is a specific taste and if you love maple syrup, reach for this fun treat. The testers all seemed to think it was *too* maple syrup-y but we found this to be a fun diversion from the usual suspects.

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert

This tastes like a gooey cinnamon roll (swoon) and was one of the favorites of all the ones we tasted. Made of cashew milk, this one is relatively lower in saturated fat (6 grams) and has 3 grams of protein per serving, but is slightly higher in carbs, at 34 grams.

Van Leeuwen Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

The taste is a chocolate lover's delight and as with all Van Leeuwen Ice Creams, it is a rich, satisfying treat. We took points off for being higher in saturated fat, but we love that it has 3 grams of fiber.

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

Somehow they have mastered the art of creating non-dairy ice cream that tastes like the real thing. We love Ben & Jerry's flavors and their chocolate-y fudge brownie was a delight in particular. But for health, we took points off for the 27 grams of added sugar (over half your daily value) per serving.

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Half Baked Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

We don't blame anyone who wants to eat the whole pint—it's that good! This Ben & Jerry's flavor was among the top five overall winners of our entire plant-based ice cream taste test. It's so intense it's like eating half-baked brownies and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups coated in ice cream; AKA all our favorite flavors rolled together. Each serving has 43 grams of carbs and 28 grams of added sugar (that's 9 teaspoons!).

So Delicious Mint Chip Coconutmilk Frozen Desert

If you love mint, this treat delivers a satisfying fix. Our testers liked the fact that it was less thick in texture than some of the other ice creams we tasted, and on a hot day, it can feel refreshingly light and sweet without the heavy taste of some of the creamier choices.

NadaMoo! Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert, Lotta Mint Chip

We love NadaMoo! for going after the vegan market and coming out with a respectable mint chip treat with half the added sugars and carbs of some of their competitors. With 200 calories in a 2/3 cup and 6 grams of added sugar per serving, this is definitely among the healthiest of the treats. Enjoy!

So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert

When the vanilla bean in this dessert kicks in, you don't feel like you need any toppings or other flavors to enhance your satisfaction—it’s rich and full all on its own. That said, if you added a topping to it, non-vegans would never tell the difference. We took slight points off for the added sugar at 18 grams per serving, but it still comes in at a respectable 200 calories per serving.

So Delicious Cookies ‘n’ Cream Almondmilk Frozen Dessert

We loved the texture of this one which was like putting Oreo cookies in a blender with vanilla ice cream and freezing it up. The cookie taste infuses the entire ice cream so if you are an Oreo fan, this is your jam. Points off for high sugar (21 grams) but otherwise, this is a winning treat.

This was as sweet a treat as you could find, and the kids loved it. They enjoyed the chunks of cookie dough in the coconut milk and the ice cream base was thinner than some we tested—a nice counter touch to the rich, thick cookie dough. A bit high in carbs, fat and saturated fat, so if you're counting, keep an eye on your portion.

We're officially fans of every non-dairy dessert that Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen makes—choc chip cookie dough is no exception. Rich and creamy, the raw cashew milk, coconut cream and cocoa butter base is to live for and makes for a truly decadent dessert.

Oatly Strawberry Ice Cream

Oatly has its act together, and this ice cream proves it. The newcomer to the freezer nudges aside some of the long-time favorites with its oat milk ice cream that tastes as good as—or better than—the real thing. We love the packaging, flavor, and attitude of this brand. It's a rich treat and anyone who loves strawberry will not be disappointed. Even non-strawberry lovers will be converted. One serving has 20 grams of sugar, but also 1.5 grams of fiber and a small amount of protein.