Israeli lab-grown steak company Aleph Farms Ltd. has announced that it has raised $12 million in a Series A financing round led by VisVires New Protein (VVNP) of Singapore, with Cargill Protein and M-Industry and existing investors Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS), Peregrine Ventures, CPT Capital, Jesselson Investments, New Crop Capital, and Technion Investment Opportunity Fund.
Ashdod-based Aleph Farms' has developed a unique non-GMO technology, which enabled it to unveil the world's first cell-grown steak last December.
The technology, co-developed with Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, relies on a natural process occurring in cows to regenerate and build muscle tissues. The company discovered a way to isolate the cells responsible for that process and grow them outside of the animal to form the same muscle tissue typical to steaks. Consumers are not willing to compromise on taste, which is the driving force behind this startup's goal to create, juicy, delicious steaks without harm to animals or the environment.
The new funds will allow Aleph Farms to speed up product development of its slaughter-free meat and to transform Aleph's prototype steak into a commercial product. Its cultured meat will grow in large, clean bio-farm facilities similar to a dairy facility.
"This round has been highly successful and includes diverse food companies and VCs from multiple regions around the world," says Matthieu Vermersch, Founder and Managing Partner of VisVires New Protein. "This is a vote of confidence in Aleph Farms' leading 3D technology and its capabilities for growing real beef steaks. Strategic partners from the food industry are important because we need to build a sustainable ecosystem for cultured meat."
Aleph Farms cofounder and CEO Didier Toubia said, "We will be part of the long-term solution. We intend to lead an open dialog with farmers and food and feed producers. In addition, we continue to work closely with the regulators to ensure our products will be completely safe, healthy and properly labelled. We welcome the collaboration with the USDA and FDA as an opportunity to promote transparency and build trust with all stakeholders."
Aleph farms was also cofounded by the Kitchen Hub, the Strauss Group's food-tech incubator.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 14, 2019
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