Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal has invested in a tech company working to make real milk from animal cells, with no animal needed.
Singapore-based TurtleTree Labs, which was co-founded by CEO Fengru Lin, CSO Rabail Toor, and Chief Strategist Max Rye, has just completed its pre-seed funding round.
Disrupting the milk industry
According to TurtleTree, it has developed a 'unique proprietary technology that uses mammary cells to produce real, full milk in clean food production facilities'.
The end product being the same as human breast milk and cow milk and will be sold as a food product - meaning it has the potential to disrupt the existing baby formula industry.
"The seed funding will be used to further build out the company's scientific team and to create additional prototypes. TurtleTree Labs plans to publicly debut the world’s first cultivated milk products in the Spring," said Rye.
Lin added that the company will now bring in 'the right talent' needed for rapid acceleration. "We believe the entire landscape of traditional bovine milk will be transformed as a result of our technology," she said.
The pre-seed round was led by Lever VC, a venture capital fund specializing in alternative protein investments. Nick Cooney, Founder and Managing Partner at Lever VC, said: "What TurtleTree Labs is doing is fascinating, and their technology could be a serious disruptor in the global dairy industry.
"They are the first company in the world producing real, whole milk from cell cultivation - which opens the door for safer, healthier and customized dairy products that can be produced with far fewer natural resources."
'The future of food'
"KBW Ventures' interest in TurtleTree stems from both from the team vision and the company's strategic approach to the future of food using stem cell technology," said Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, founder and Chief Executive Officer, KBW Ventures.
"Having spent time with the founding team in Singapore, we have a lot of confidence in TurtleTree's progress as a biotech company and in the direction they are taking from a business perspective."