Aleph Farms Ltd., Israel, raised $12 million in series A investments from a blend of classic venture capitalists and strategic partners, and led by VisVires New Protein (VVNP), Singapore, with Cargill Protein, Wichita, Kan., and M-Industry, Migros, Switzerland, as new investors. Existing investors also joining this round include Strauss Group, Israel; Peregrine Ventures, Israel; CPT Capital, UK; Jesselson investments, Israel; New Crop Capital, San Francisco; and Technion Investment Opportunity Fund, Israel.
Aleph Farms' unique non-GMO technology relies on a natural process occurring in cows to regenerate and build muscle tissues.
The injection of capital will allow Aleph Farms to accelerate product development of its slaughter-free meat and transform Aleph's prototype 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 VVNP. "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."
"We will be part of the long-term solution," adds Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. "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."
"Cargill is committed to innovation, and we are delighted to be a part of Aleph's accelerated growth," says Sonya Roberts, managing director of growth ventures and strategic pricing for Cargill Protein North America. "This partnership connects new frontiers in cell-based technology with insights in the global food system and supply chains to meet future customer and consumer needs."