Aleph Farms, an Israeli lab-grown beef startup, has raised $12 million in a Series A funding round, led by Singapore-based venture fund VisVires New Protein (VVNP).
Aleph Farms is VVNP’s seventh investment from its venture fund focused on global food and feed startups.
Cargill, M-Industry (the industrial group of Swiss retailer Migros), Strauss Group, Peregrine Ventures, CPT Capital, Jays Third Eight and New Crop Capital have also participated in the round.
Aleph Farms was formed in 2017 by The Kitchen (a food-tech incubator created by the Strauss Group and the Israel Innovation Authority) and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Its technology builds on the natural process by which tissues re-generate in cattle.
Last December, Aleph Farms said it successfully grew a piece of steak directly from bovine cells in what it calls – a world first for the industry. Other companies in this field have so far only succeeded in producing unstructured meats like burgers and nuggets.
Aleph added that its unique process does not rely on genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Aleph Farms founder and CEO Didier Toubia said: “Sustainability of meat production, food-borne illnesses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are key concerns of the meat industry and regulators. We offer a new way to address these challenges and to feed the growing world population.”
Toubia added that these issues are particularly acute in Asia, which will be a key market for Aleph in its expansion plans. The statement added that the fresh funds will be used to accelerate Aleph’s product development and commercialisation.
VisVires’ other portfolio investments include Ynsect (France), Nuritas (Ireland), Mitte (Germany), In Ovo (Netherlands), ViAqua (Israel) and Nutrition Innovation (Singapore).
Last year, VVNP also shared that it plans to launch a $100-million second fund in 2019, after closing its $40-million first fund in June.