ISRAEL – Aleph Farms, an Israeli cultured meat startup, has received US$105 million in a Series B investment round to scale up manufacturing capabilities in readiness for a 2022 product launch.
According to a statement from Crunchbase, part of the funds will also be used to grow Aleph Farms’ international operations and expand its product lines and tech platform.
The company is reported to be planning to set up a manufacturing facility in the middle east to help the region which largely depends on food exports to attain food security.
This is even more likely now that one of the lead investors in the Series B funding round was DisruptAD, a venture platform that is part of the sovereign fund of Abu Dhabi.
Other participants in the Series B round include L Catterton’s Growth Fund, Thai Union, BRF, CJ CheilJedang, Strauss Group, and Cargill.
Aleph’s funding is happening at a time when many cell-based meat companies are constructing and operating pilot plants and raising massive amounts of funds to accelerate potential product launches.
The Israeli startup however stands out from the crowd as it is credited for making the world’s first cell-based minute stake in 2018.
The startup also made 3D-printed cell-based meat in space in 2019 and unveiled the first cell-based ribeye steak earlier this year.
Aleph Farms has several key partnerships including one with Brazil meat giant BRF S.A. and another one with Mitsubishi Corp in Japan that help expand its geographical footprint.
Even with the progress realized so far by Aleph Farms, it is important to note that only Eat Just has regulatory approval to make cultured meat for public consumptions.
Additionally, only Singapore has a regulatory framework to approve products so they may enter the market.
This means there is still a lot to be done, particularly on the regulatory front to allow for food manufacturers to produce their lab-grown products for the public.
Nevertheless, many other companies are getting closer to being able to make large quantities of cultured meat, and say they are working with regulators to gain approval for sale.
Israel-based Future Meat Technologies, which is working first on cell-based chicken, and California-based Wildtype, which is making cell-based salmon have for instance operationalized their pilot plants.
California’s Upside Foods — previously known as Memphis Meats — is also on track to completing its own pilot plant in readiness for regulatory approval early next year.
CEO Uma Valeti said last month at the virtual Future Food-Tech conference that the company is close to finalizing its first chicken product and confident it will receive U.S. regulatory approval in the next y
Despite the lack of a defined legal framework in many jurisdictions, these funds — and the partnerships that go with them — further Aleph’s reach and technology and just about guarantee commercialization of its products.
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