Aleph Farms, co-founded by a Technion professor, has been given the seal of approval by the actor

A-List actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, has invested in a cruelty-free meat startup that was the brainchild of a Technion professor. His investment was made as part of the $105 million funding round raised by Aleph Farms back in July, which was co-founded by Professor Shulamit Levenberg from the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

DiCaprio – who has long championed environmentalism – will be joining the startup – as well as Dutch alternative meat company Mosa Meat, as an advisor, amid a growing global movement to support sustainable technologies.

“One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system,” he said in a statement, adding that he was “very pleased” to join “as an advisor and investor as they prepare to introduce cultivated beef to consumers.”

Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 and rolled out the first-ever cultivated steak in 2018 and ribeye this year, leveraging the ability to isolate animal cells in a lab and reproduce the optimal conditions for them to grow into tissue.

The company – a leading player in a growing Israeli food-tech sector – plans to go to market in 2022.

With global meat consumption projected to grow between 40%-70% by 2050, analysts estimate the cultivated meat industry could reach $25 billion by 2030. It offers a solution to reduce the negative impacts of industrial beef production, such as using up precious resources, increasing carbon and nitrogen emissions and causing harm to animals.

Director of Technion UK, Alan Aziz, says: “It’s not every day that an Academy Award-winning actor champions what you do, but with such a heavyweight – both in the movie and environmental industry – investing in Aleph Farms, it’s a huge stamp of approval in the bid towards a more sustainable way to consume meat. “As ever, I am incredibly proud to be associated with the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the world-changing developments they are creating.”