Israel-based cell-grown meat firm Aleph Farms has raised approximately $12 million in a Series A funding round, with the company stating that it will now seek to accelerate the production of its ‘slaughter-free meat’.
Founded in 2017 by food-tech incubator The Kitchen and Technion, Aleph Farms developed a method which allows it to regenerate and build muscle tissues from beef cells isolated from a cow into a fully 3-D structure similar to traditional meat, and the company claimed that it had produced the ‘world’s first’ cell-grown minute steak in December 2018.
This latest funding round was led by Singapore-based company VisVires New Protein (VVNP), while Cargill USA and M-Industry – the industrial group of Migros – became new investors in the startup.
A statement from Aleph Farms claimed that this funding will be used to accelerate product development and, in particular, will aim to transform Aleph’s prototype into a commercial product.
Cell-grown meat and other meat alternatives are generating interest due to growing environmental and ethical concerns surrounding traditional meat production, including the sustainability of meat production, antibiotic resistance, and the presence of food-borne illnesses.
In the statement, Aleph Farms said that it and other cell-grown meat firms were “providing new tools to address those challenges.”
Didier Toubia, co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms said: “We will be part of the long-term solution. “We intend to lead an open dialogue 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.”
Matthieu Vermersch, founder and managing partner of VisVires New Protein added: “This round has been highly successful and includes diverse food companies and VCs from multiple regions around the world.
“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.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019