Aleph Farms raises $105M, plans for cell-based meat launch in 202213 Jul 2021
Cultured meat manufacturer Aleph Farms is steaming ahead toward its goal of commercialization. The Israeli startup announced it received $105 million in funding from a Series B investment round led by L Catterton's Growth Fund and DisruptAD, which is one of the largest venture platforms in the Middle East.
With its newfound funding, the company has hooked a total of $119.4 million, according to Crunchbase. Aleph Farms said that this latest infusion, which accounts for the majority of its capital will go directly toward globally commercializing its cultivated beef steaks and expanding its overall portfolio.
However, there is currently only one company that has received regulatory approval to sell cultivated meat commercially, and that is Eat Just’s Good Meat, which began offering its cultivated protein in restaurants late last year. Nevertheless, Aleph Farms said in a press release that it is “currently working with regulatory agencies on its plans for market entry.” The company did not specify where in which country it is negotiating with regulators nor the timeline for approval.
Aleph also stated that it plans to launch its initial cultivated meat products to market in 2022, which will be five years after the company was founded. While the startup has not yet commercialized any of its products, it has had significant success in creating cultivated protein, and the company has a history of being the first to market with a variety of meat alternatives. In 2018, it created the world’s first whole cut beef steak, then in 2019 the company printed cell-based meat in space, finally, earlier this year, the company became the first one to conquer cell-based ribeye steak.
With this fresh infusion of capital, and the partnerships that go along with it, Aleph Farms is setting itself up to vie for other first-mover advantages such as being the first cultivated meat product available in countries outside of Singapore. According to the press release, the United Arab Emirates appears to be a likely candidate to become one of the centers of this effort.
As a key investor in Aleph Farms, DisruptAD has an interest in parlaying the food technology into a solution to help bolster Abu Dhabi's long-term focus on food resilience since the country currently has to import 90% of its food. To support this initiative, Aleph Farms will evaluate the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi to supply its cultivated meat products across the UAE the broader region.
Even with this Middle Eastern region in its sights, Aleph Farms will still be competing on a global scale and will need to continue to strive to make a move on the world stage. Already there is a lot of competition, including California's Upside Foods – previously known as Memphis Meats – Future Meat Technologies and Good Meat, which are all working to capture the largest bite of a market that is hungry for a sustainable protein alternative with all the taste and appearance of conventionally-raised protein.
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