TurtleTree Labs, a Singapore-based biotechnology start-up, raised $3.2 million (Dh11.74m) in seed funding from global investors including Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal's KBW Ventures to accelerate work on cell-based milk production.
Green Monday Ventures, CPT Capital, Artesian and New Luna Ventures also participated in the financing round, TurtleTree Labs stated in a affirmation on Thursday. KBW Ventures had as well participated in a pre-seed circular in January.
"This fresh spherical of funding will enhance our scale up expansion, bringing us one stage closer to commercialisation,” Max Rye, co-founder of TurtleTree Labs, said.
The company, which can be backed by the Singapore government, may be the world’s first-cell based biotechnology company to create real milk from mammalian cells, without the need for animals.
With support from the Singaporean authorities, the start-up received access to "a range of assets" that provided TurtleTree Labs with a "tremendous financial boost," and can continue working through the Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
The start-up is targeted on sustainable dairy production and supporting the government's long-term food diversification efforts.
"Now more than ever, people are waking up to the benefits associated with foodstuff technology and the massive positive implications of innovations found in cellular agriculture,” Prince Khaled, who's also the principle executive of KBW Ventures, said.
The excess capital injected in TurtleTree labs is in line with KBW Ventures' technique to spend money on companies with transformative technologies and business designs with prospect of significant financial returns, while also providing positive social impact. KBW Ventures' portfolio spans early-stage businesses to competent companies seeking to expand in to the Middle East.
TurtleTree Labs raised original investment, that was led by NY and Hong Kong-based Lever VC, in 2019.
Over the past year, the start-up is continuing to grow its team to more than 20 full-time scientists and engineers.
"Our team is starving, passionate and understands what it takes to accelerate to advertise," Fengru Lin, chief executive and co-founder of TurtleTree Labs, said. "I’m hence inspired when even the most junior researchers are sharing tips of cutting costs or determining better suppliers.”