Test-tube steak maker Aleph Farms raises $12 million to bring product to market

Israeli startup, which uses animal cells to grow tissue for real meat cuts, gets money boost from VC and strategic investors from US, Singapore, Israel and UK

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An illustration of a steak prototype produced in an Aleph Farms Ltd. lab out of cow cells (Courtesy
An illustration of a steak prototype produced in an Aleph Farms Ltd. lab out of cow cells (Courtesy

Aleph Farms Ltd., a startup that grows meat cuts directly from cattle cells, said Wednesday it has raised $12 million in a series A funding round.

Investors in the round include venture capitalists and strategic partners such as Singpore’s VisVires New Protein (VVNP), which led the funding round, USA’s Cargill and M-Industry, the industrial group of Migros, Switzerland, as new investors.

Existing investors also joined this round, including Israel’s Strauss Group, Israel; Peregrine Ventures, Israel; CPT Capital, UK; Jesselson investments, Israel; New Crop Capital, USA and Technion Investment Opportunity Fund, Israel.

Aleph Farms’ non-genetically engineered technology, co-developed with Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, uses the ability of animals to grow tissue muscle constantly. The company discovered a way to isolate the cells responsible for that process and grow them outside of the animal to form the same muscle tissue typical of steaks. This enables the startup to produce real meat cuts from cow cells, with the same look and feel and almost the same taste, but without killing animals and without using antibiotics.

An illustration of the steak prototype produced in an Aleph Farms Ltd. lab out of cow cells (Courtesy)

The injection of capital will allow Aleph Farms to accelerate product development of its slaughter-free meat and to transform Aleph’s prototype released last December into a commercial product, Aleph said in a statement. Its cultured meat will grow in large, clean bio-farm facilities similar to a dairy facility, the firm said.

“This round has been highly successful and includes diverse food companies and VCs from multiple regions around the world,” says Matthieu Vermersch, founder and managing partner of VisVires New Protein.

“This is a vote of confidence in Aleph Farms’ leading 3D technology and its capabilities for growing real beef steaks,” said Vermersch. “Strategic partners from the food industry are important because we need to build a sustainable ecosystem for cultured meat.”

Aleph Farms was co-founded in 2017 by Israeli foodtech incubator The Kitchen, a part of the Strauss Group Ltd., and the Technion.

read more: