Israel Startup Aleph Farms Raises $12 Million to Produce Slaughter-Free Steak

Food and Beverages | Thursday, March 19, 2020

Aleph Farms has got funding from giant investors for creating cell-cultured meat.

FREMONT, CA: Aleph Farms, an Israeli company, which is a cell-cultured meat startup, has raised $12 million in a funding round led by a Singaporean investor VisVires New Protein. Cargill, Strauss Group, and other venture capitalists also participated in this funding round.

Aleph Farms, that grows meat from the cells of the cattle was founded in 2017 in alliance with The Kitchen, the Israeli food-tech incubator. According to the release, the injection of the capital will support Aleph in accelerating the development of the product and transforming its prototype into a commercial product.

Through the approach of producing real meat cuts from the cow-cells,  Aleph Farms delivers the same meat with the same experience and taste, without having to slaughter the animals. This approach also eliminates antibiotics requirement leading to less foodborne illness risk. The main goal of the industry is to create, delicious, juicy steaks without compromising on the taste or texture.

This funding of $12 million brought this startup in the list of top cell-based meat industries worldwide. Since its foundation in 2017, the company has gained investments from the United States and European VCs and has also received support from The Kitchen and the Israel Institute of Technology.

With this funding, Aleph can now accelerate its business plans towards the launch of limited consumer product within three to five years. Currently, the enterprise has produced prototype steaks as proof of their concept.

The prediction of getting meat consumption to be doubled by 2050 by Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.S. has made companies invest more in this sector. The cell-cultured meat is an alternate for the meat lovers to continue to indulge, while also being sustainability-minded.

A recent survey on lab-grown meat has shown that 40 percent of Americans will try lab-grown meat. However, another study showed that 66 percent of consumers would give it a try, and 27 percent would purchase it. Despite the consumers' uncertainty, investors are continuing to invest in this technology which is getting bigger.

According to the research of The Good Food Institute, the global investment in the cell-based meat industry has been more than $73 million since 2015. Business giants like Cargill and Tyson invested $50 million in 2018. Recently Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies were funded by Tyson.

Still, the cell-based meat industry has to go a long way to become mainstream. Uma Valeti,  the CEO of Memphis Meats, said that their company could produce a pound of cell-cultured meat below $2400 which is less than $18000 in 2016. A lot of effort has to be put to make the meat available to the consumers at an affordable cost. Nevertheless, the industries are confident that cell-cultured meat technology will lead to a colossal shift. 

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