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Aleph Farms aims to wrangle the beef supply chain

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Feb 23, 2024
Illustration of a steak served on a Petri dish with a knife and fork

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Aleph Farms, which makes cultivated beef cuts using animal cells, believes it has the answer to the world's beef supply-chain challenges.

Why it matters: The Israeli company could raise funds before year-end as it rides the alternative protein wave, continuing to draw investor dollars, CEO Didier Toubia says.

  • Toubia will not disclose the size of the prospective raise but says it will be "enough for us to move to the next stages."

Driving the news: Last month, Aleph's cultivated beef making process received an Israeli Health Ministry green light in the form of a "no questions" letter.

  • The company says it's one of the first cultivated beef companies to receive this kind of go-ahead, which will enable it to produce and market its product in Israel over the coming months.

Zoom out: This has broader implications for decentralizing the food industry, he says.

  • The beef supply chain is typically centered around the animals and their food, mostly found in the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Europe.
  • "Cultivated meat as a new category really helps diversify the sources of animal products and make the overall food system more resilient," Toubia says.

Zoom in: Aleph Farms focuses on the Middle East and Asia, which import much of their beef from elsewhere.

  • It will serve Asia through Singapore and the Middle East through Israel.
  • To make its products, Aleph Farms uses animal cells that are developed in a bioreactor.

Flashback: Founded in 2017, Aleph Farms has raised about $140 million to date.

  • The company raised a $105 million Series B round in 2021, led by the L Catterton growth fund and DisruptAD, with participation from Skviews Life Science and Thai Union BRF and CJ CheilJedang.
  • The company's Series A funding round was led by VisVires New Protein, with Peregrine Ventures and Strauss Group, Cargill and M-Industry participating.
  • It counts Leonardo DiCaprio as one of its advisory board members.

What's next: In the near-term, Aleph Farms hopes to get its cultivated beefsteaks and ribeyes on restaurant tables, with plans to penetrate retail.

  • Aleph Farms aims to expand beyond food, developing B2B products for the collagen space as well as for food, cosmetics and biomaterials.
  • "We do see ourselves as a manufacturing company that's part of the new bio economy, that will kind of elevate ourselves and consider yourselves as much wider than just cultivated meats," Toubia says.
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