Well done: Aleph Farms lands $105M to dish out steaks that vegetarians can enjoy too

Is it possible? Could the vegetarian Holy Grail come from the land of carnivores? Aleph Farms states that its cultivated meat products can be found in stores in 2022…

Article published at www.geektime.com on July 11, 2021.

A Feelit sensor strip monitors the health of industrial equipment. Photo courtesy of Feelit

Being a vegetarian looks like its about to get a whole lot tastier. Israeli foodtech startup, Aleph Farms, which develops animal-cruelty free cultured meat products, has secured a massive $105 million Series B round. The investment was led by L Catterton,  the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, and DisruptAD. The two were joined by Skyviews Life Science, as well as a consortium of leading global food and meat companies including Thai Union, BRF, and CJ CheilJedang. Additionally, existing investors, including VisVires New Protein, Strauss Group, Cargill, Peregrine Ventures, and CPT Capital.

Juicy cruelty-free steaks

Aleph Farms has developed a system for growing beef steaks from non-genetically engineered cells isolated from a living cow, without harming animals and with a significantly reduced impact to the environment. Unlike similar products, the company’s tech doesn’t rely on genetic engineering, but rather is based on a natural process of muscle tissue regrowth in bovine. The Israeli startup has found a way to isolate the cells responsible for this process, culturing them outside of the typical host, therefore creating optimal conditions to grow beef including fat, muscle, and other features that create a juicy steak.

Considered a rare investment in the foodtech sector, Aleph’s mega-round is further highlighted due to the fact that the company’s previous funding was back in 2019 and tallied only $11.65 million, compared to the current nine-digit round. Aleph Farms states that the capital will be used to execute its plans for large-scale global commercialization of cultivated beef steaks and portfolio expansion. Additionally, a more near-term view shows the company plans on scaling-up manufacturing, growing operations internationally, and expanding its product lines and technology platform ahead of its initial market launch in 2022.

Aleph Farms’ leadership team. From left to right: Technion Professor Shulamit Levenberg, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Adviser; Didier Toubia, Co-Founder & CEO; Dr. Neta Lavon, CTO & Vice President of R&D. Credit: Rami Shalosh (PRNewsfoto/Aleph Farms)
Aleph Farms’ leadership team. From left to right: Technion Professor Shulamit Levenberg, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Adviser; Didier Toubia, Co-Founder & CEO; Dr. Neta Lavon, CTO & Vice President of R&D. Credit: Rami Shalosh (PRNewsfoto/Aleph Farms)

“This additional capital from top-tier partners with unparalleled experience and expertise brings us significantly closer to our vision of providing secure and unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. We see our investors as partners for building this new category of meat and it was critical to us that they share our strong commitment to improving the sustainability of our global food systems,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms.

Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 by Didier Toubia and Professor Shulamit Levenberg. The company has raised $118 million to date. The company is definitely doing some interesting things with cultivated meat to bring more cruelty-free and sustainable options to the world, and outside of it. During October of last year, Aleph Farms launched new food driven initiative to produce cultured meat and protein solutions for Earth’s future travelers to Mars. Yep, you heard it right.

Aleph Farms completes $105 million Series B round

The company anticipates an initial market launch in 2022 and intends to scale up manufacturing, grow its global operations, and expand its product lines and technology ahead of that

Article published at www.calcalistech.com on July 11, 2021.

Aleph Farms, an Israeli cultivated meat company that grows steaks directly from non-genetically modified animal cells, has announced the completion of a $105 million Series B funding round. The round was led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity firm, and DisruptAD, one of the largest venture platforms in the Middle East. To date, it brings its total funding to $118 million. 

“We are thrilled to grow our relationships with existing partners, and welcome select new investors in this funding round,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “This additional capital from top-tier partners with unparalleled experience and expertise brings us significantly closer to our vision of providing secure and unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. We see our investors as partners for building this new category of meat and it was critical to us that they share our strong commitment to improving the sustainability of our global food systems.”

The round saw participation from Skyviews Life Science, as well as food and meat companies including Thai Union, BRF, and CJ CheilJedang. Existing investors, including VisVires New Protein, Strauss Group, Cargill, Peregrine Ventures, and CPT Capital, also took part in the round. 

Aleph Farms intends to use the funds to expand its efforts for large-scale global commercialization of its cultivated beef steaks. The company anticipates an initial market launch in 2022 and intends to scale up manufacturing, grow its global operations, and expand its product lines and technology ahead of that.

Earlier this year, CTech visited Aleph Farms to explore its laboratory in Rehovot that samples cow cells, stores them in a cell bank, develops different muscle, blood vessels, and fat cells in a cell bioreactor, and then grows the tissue in a tissue bioreactor to produce a steak. “With cultivated meat, you can control the quality and tailor the quality of the raw material you get to make exactly the type of dish, cooking, and experience you want for your consumers,” Toubia told CTech at the time.

“With cultivated whole-muscle cut steaks, an optimized platform for cost parity at scale, and a global partnership network with the world’s largest meat producers, Aleph Farms has differentiated itself as the leading cultivated meat company poised to go to market,” said Michael Farello, a Managing Partner at L Catterton’s Growth Fund. “We are excited to support their success as they prepare for global launch, and we look forward to leveraging our significant expertise in food and sustainable businesses that meet the needs of a changing consumer and a changing world.” 

Mansour AlMulla welcomed Aleph Farms on behalf of DisruptAD as its first Israel-based partner, and said: “Our partnership with Aleph Farms underpins our long-term desire to accelerate the path for technology pioneers and change leaders that are building technologies of tomorrow.” Mayank Singhal, also speaking on behalf of DisruptAD, added “our belief is that the future of food will be built around evolved consumer choices and a redressal of climate concerns, with Aleph playing a central role in shaping this agenda across global markets. We are delighted to partner with them.” 

Aleph Farms was co-founded in 2017 by Didier Toubia, The Kitchen Hub of the Strauss Group, and Professor Shulamit Levenberg from the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. It is represented by advs. Yoav Etzyon and Efrat Shpizaizen from Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co (APM). L Catterton has $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and has made 250 investments since 1989. DisruptAD is ADQ’s venture capital platform and invests across the UAE as well as other global markets including the Middle East and North Africa region, India, China, South East Asia, and the United States.

Israel’s Aleph Farms Raises Whopping $105 Million For Cultured, Slaughter-Free Meat

Israeli cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms has raised $105 million in a Series B funding round to bring its cultured, slaughter-free meat to market next year. The company announced on Wednesday that the investment was led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, an American-French global consumer-focused private equity firm, and DisruptAD, the venture capital arm of Abu Dhabi’s ADQ company and one of the largest venture platforms in the Middle East.

Article published at www.nocamels.com on July 7, 2021.

Aleph Farms creates cultivated meat with proprietary tech. Photo: Aleph Farms
Aleph Farms creates cultivated meat with proprietary tech. Photo: Aleph Farms

Israeli cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms has raised $105 million in a Series B funding round to bring its cultured, slaughter-free meat to market next year. The company announced on Wednesday that the investment was led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, an American-French global consumer-focused private equity firm, and DisruptAD, the venture capital arm of Abu Dhabi’s ADQ company and one of the largest venture platforms in the Middle East.

The funding also saw participation from Skyviews Life Science, as well as a consortium of leading global food and meat companies including Bangkok-based seafood producer Thai Union, Brazilian food multinational BRF, and South Korean food company CJ CheilJedang. Additionally, existing investors, including VisVires New Protein, Strauss Group, Cargill, Peregrine Ventures, and CPT Capital, took part in the Series B funding round. The funding brings Aleph Farms’ total capital raised to date to $118 million.

Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 by Dr. Didier Toubia and Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, alongside Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen, a part of the Strauss Group.

Aleph Farms. Courtesy
Aleph Farms. Courtesy

In 2018, Aleph Farms unveiled the world’s first slaughter-free steak made from cow cells and a cultivated rib-eye steak earlier this year. In January, the company announced an agreement with Japanese multinational Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group to bring cultivated meat to Japan, followed by a deal to operate in Brazil.

As a strategic partner to DisruptAD, Aleph Farms says it will evaluate the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi to supply its cultivated meat products across the UAE and the broader GCC region.

Aleph Farms’ method to produce cultivated beef steaks relies on mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow’s body, but under controlled conditions. The startup says it implements a combination of six unique technologies that allow it to drop the production costs of the meat, including innovative approaches to an animal-free growth medium to nourish the cells, and bioreactors – the tanks in which the tissue grows.

The company has also set its sights on the stars – literally – with plans announced last year for a new program called Aleph Zero. The program’s mission is to advance food security by producing fresh quality meat anywhere, independent of climate change and natural resources, and introduce new capabilities for producing food even in the harshest, most remote environments like space. This project was preceded by an experiment in 2019 to produce slaughter-free steak at the International Space Station, in a bid to demonstrate its mission to provide sustainable food security on Earth and beyond.

A rendering of Aleph Farms’ BioFarm. Courtesy
A rendering of Aleph Farms’ BioFarm. Courtesy

Taking Aleph Farms forward

The founders said in an announcement published on Wednesday that the fresh funding will help them execute plans for large-scale global commercialization and portfolio expansion into new types of animal protein sometime next year. The company is currently working with regulatory agencies for market entry.

“We are preparing towards an initial market launch in 2022 of our first product – a thin-cut beef steak, and are also building the foundation for global commercial expansion, including establishing long-term commercial agreements with local stakeholders from the meat sector. We have carefully hand-picked our partners based on synergies in sustainability commitments and our core values,” Toubia tells NoCamels.

Regarding the scale of the investment, Toubia says he feels “very humbled and am grateful for our partners.”

“We are thrilled to grow our relationships with existing partners, and welcome select new investors in this funding round,” Toubia, who serves as CEO of Aleph Farms, said in the announcement. “This additional capital from top-tier partners with unparalleled experience and expertise brings us significantly closer to our vision of providing secure and unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. We see our investors as partners for building this new category of meat and it was critical to us that they share our strong commitment to improving the sustainability of our global food systems.”

The company’s near-term milestones include scaling-up manufacturing, growing operations internationally, and expanding product lines ahead of an initial market launch in 2022.

Further, says Toubia, Aleph Farms “will expand product lines and our technology platform with new animal proteins in addition to beef, and scale our 3D bioprinting platform, following the unveiling of our proof-of-concept ribeye steak in February 2021.”

“These developments are in line with our mission to generate more range and deliver a more diverse spectrum of culinary experiences associated with eating meat. We believe that additional meat designs will drive a larger impact in the mid to long term,” he tells NoCamels.

Aleph Farms’ cultivated steak. Photo: Aleph Farms
Aleph Farms’ cultivated steak. Photo: Aleph Farms

“With cultivated whole-muscle cut steaks, an optimized platform for cost parity at scale, and a global partnership network with the world’s largest meat producers, Aleph Farms has differentiated itself as the leading cultivated meat company poised to go to market,” said Michael Farello, a managing partner at L Catterton’s Growth Fund, which manages $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world.

“We are excited to support their success as they prepare for global launch, and we look forward to leveraging our significant expertise in food and sustainable businesses that meet the needs of a changing consumer and a changing world,” added Farello.

Mansour AlMulla welcomed Aleph Farms on behalf of DisruptAD as its first Israel-based partner, and said: “Our partnership with Aleph Farms underpins our long-term desire to accelerate the path for technology pioneers and change leaders that are building technologies of tomorrow.”

Israel – a clean meat hub

Israel is home to a host of startups and companies working in the clean meat and/or plant-based “meat” space.

These include Future Meat Technologies, a cultured meat developer that recently launched the world’s first industrial cultured meat facility in Rehovot; Redefine Meat, an Israeli food tech startup that is carving out an important spot in the vegan meat space and recently announced a $29 million funding round that will go toward a commercial launch; SuperMeat, a developer of lab-grown poultry extracted from chicken cells; MeaTech, a cultured meat bioprinting company focused on chicken fat; and SavorEat, a vegan burger maker and the first food tech company to go public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Aleph Farms gets $105 million investment to bring lab-grown steaks to market

Funding round is led by private equity firm L Catterton and DisruptAD, the VC arm of Abu Dhabi’s holding company ADQ; Aleph mulls manufacturing plant in UAE

Article published at www.timesofisrael.com on July 7, 2021.

Aleph Farms ribeye steak (Aleph Farms and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology)
Aleph Farms ribeye steak (Aleph Farms and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology)

Aleph Farms, a maker of cultivated meat that grows steaks from modified cattle cells, said Wednesday it has raised $105 million in a Series B funding round from investors.

The round was led by the growth fund of L Catterton, a US-French consumer-focused private equity firm with over $30 billion in equity capital, and DisruptAD, the venture capital arm of the Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ.

The round also saw participation from Skyviews Life Science as well as a consortium of global food and meat companies including Thai Union, BRF, and CJ CheilJedang. Existing investors VisVires New Protein, Strauss Group, Cargill, Peregrine Ventures, and CPT Capital also participated in the latest round, bringing the funds raised by the startup to date to more than $118 million, the company said in a statement.

Aleph will use the funds to advance the global commercialization of its cultivated beef steaks and expand its portfolio of products ahead of its planned market launch in 2022, the company said.

To produce its meat, Aleph leverages the ability of animals to grow tissue muscle constantly and isolates the cells responsible. It then reproduces the optimal conditions for these cells to grow into tissue, basically growing meat outside the animal.

The tissue is grown in tanks that act as fermenters, similar to those in a brewery. There the cells are nurtured and shaped into a 3D structure that makes the meat.

DisruptAD’s investment in Aleph Farms aims to help bolster Abu Dhabi’s long-term focus on food resilience, the statement said. As strategic partners, DisruptAD and Aleph Farms will mull setting up a manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi to supply its cultivated meat products across the UAE and the broader GCC region, the statement said.

DisruptAD invests in startups and venture capital funds and sets up new incubators and accelerators to help Abu Dhabi become a destination for startups and to accelerate the development of its own innovation ecosystem. DisruptAD invests across the UAE as well as other global markets including the Middle East and North Africa , India, China, Southeast Asia and the United States. The VC fund aims to support and nurture over 1,000 startups by 2025, the statement said.

“This additional capital from top-tier partners with unparalleled experience and expertise brings us significantly closer to our vision of providing secure and unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere,” said Didier Toubia, the co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms.

Mansour AlMulla, chief investment officer of DisruptAD, said Aleph Farms is the firm’s first Israel-based partner, and added that the partnership “underpins our long-term desire to accelerate the path for technology pioneers and change leaders that are building technologies of tomorrow.”

Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 by Toubia, The Kitchen Hub of the Strauss Group, and Prof. Shulamit Levenberg from the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.