This week, Geltor raised a massive $18.2 million to complete their Series A financing. The round of funding was led by Cultivan Sandbox Ventures, a pioneer investor in agriculture technologies. Other investors in the round were GELITA, a global supplier of collagen proteins, and ADM Ventures, the venture arm of global food and feed ingredient supplier Archer Daniels Midland Company. The round also featured seed investors Fifty Years, Stray Dog Capital, SOSV, and New Crop Ventures.
Geltor uses cellular agriculture to grow animal-free collagen protein. Cellular agriculture (‘cell ag’) is the process of growing animal products, like leather, from cell cultures instead of raising animals for the same products. Traditional collagen is sourced from the bones and skin of livestock animals or fish, and Geltor’s collagen offers an alternative and sustainable way to get the same product. Without requiring animals.
Collagen has many functions and can be used to make many different products, like gelatin, and cosmetic products. Collagen is also the main protein found in leather. In January, Geltor surprised many to make the first cell ag leather using jellyfish collagen to bound a copy of Paul Shapiro’s book Clean Meat. When asked why jellyfish collagen, Geltor’s CEO and co-founder Alex Lorestani explained that he wanted to dispel any preconceived notions that leather needs to come from a hide-bound animal.
Following the jellyfish leather-bound book, the round of funding marks off a great year for Geltor. In May, Geltor won the CEW’s Award for Innovation for 2018 for their first cosmetic product: N-Collage, a collagen product for skincare use. The CEW Awards is one of the beauty industry’s top awards, and it’s promising that Geltor’s innovative product earned them recognition through the industry. Recently, Geltor was also named in CNBC’s list of 100 startups to watch.
Geltor plans to use their round of funding to get their animal-free collagen in food products by 2020. With that timeline, Geltor will be one of the first food cell ag products out!