This week, Aleph Farms announced that they raised a massive $12 million in Series A funding. Based in Israel, Aleph Farms is a startup that uses cellular agriculture to grow cell-based meat. By growing cells that become meat in an animal, Aleph Farms can make the same meat. Without requiring the animal.
Aleph Farms’ Series A was led by VisVires New Protein, a venture capital based in Singapore. Other investors in the round include Cargill, M-Industry of Migros, Strauss Group, New Crop Capital, and the Technion Investment Opportunity Fund. Aleph Farms previously raised $2.25 million during their seed round.
Aleph Farms and Cell-Based Meat
Cellular agriculture is the field of growing animal products, like meat, from cells instead of raising animals for the same products. Compared to the present animal agricultural system, cellular agriculture provides an alternative and sustainable way to produce the same animal products.
Presently, many of the startups working to produce cell-based meat are focusing on making ground meat. While a popular meat, this is primarily due to technological barriers that prevent them from producing more complex meat tissues (like steak and chicken breast) from cell cultures.
Many thought that it would take years before a cellular agriculture company could produce a cell-based steak. Aleph Farms thought otherwise.
In December 2018, Aleph Farms made history and produced the first cell-grown beef steak. Using their proprietary tissue engineering platform, Aleph Farms overcame one of the biggest challenges in the field. Without requiring animals.
While an incredible feat, Aleph Farms co-founder and CEO Didier Toubia shared that their cell-based steak is not entirely there yet. Toubia said they’re about “60–70%” of what they want their final cell-grown steak to taste like.
Ultimately, for cell-based meat to become mainstream, Toubia accepts that the environmental and sustainability message may not be enough. Taste matters too. “It has to be a good product,” Toubia previously told me, “Not just animal protein.” It’s not surprising then that Aleph Farms are working to lead the way to make a tasty product with their technological advances.
Aleph Farms’ financing round makes the company only the third cell-based meat startup to raise a Series A round of funding. As of May 2019, only Memphis Meats, which raised $17 million in their Series A in 2017, and Mosa Meat have raised this much funding before. After Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms is the second best funded cell-based meat company.
It is interesting to note that Cargill, one of the largest agriculture companies in the world, has now invested in both Aleph Farms and Memphis Meats. It is a promising sign that the field is growing and there are investors looking to change the future of food.
Aleph Farms plans to use their round of funding to accelerate the commercialization of their cell-based steaks. They aim to further develop their cell-based meat as well as expand their capabilities to commercialize their product. Aleph Farms predict that they will have a product out in the market in the next 4 to 5 years.
Get your free Cellular Agriculture eBook today and learn about the future of food.
My name is Ahmed Khan, and I am the Editor of CellAgri. Please subscribe to my email newsletter at www.cell.ag to get the latest research and news about cellular agriculture, which I share exclusively with my email subscribers. We are regularly tweeting out interesting articles and thoughts via twitter @Cellagritech