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TurtleTree Labs raises US$3.2 million seed round as it accelerates cell-based milk development

SINGAPORE, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Singapore-based biotech company TurtleTree Labs today announced the completion of a fresh round of funding from global investors. TurtleTree Labs is the world’s first-cell based biotechnology company creating real milk from mammalian cells, without the need for animals. As a platform, the company’s focus is on high value human breast milk followed by cow milk.

TurtleTree Labs Founders Max Rye and Fengru Lin
TurtleTree Labs Founders Max Rye and Fengru Lin

Over the past year TurtleTree Labs has attracted world class talent, currently boasting a team of more than 20 full-time scientists and engineers. With multiple cross-functional teams working in parallel, co-founder and CEO Fengru Lin says, "Our team is hungry, passionate and knows what it takes to accelerate to market. I’m so inspired when even the most junior scientists are sharing ideas of cutting costs or identifying better suppliers."

With support from the Singaporean government, the startup has been privy to an array of resources that provided TurtleTree Labs with a tremendous financial boost, enabling it to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-founder Max Rye, originally from the San Francisco Bay area explains, "Our teams are firing on all cylinders thanks to Enterprise Singapore and the support from our investors. We remain as focused as ever, and we aim to continue hitting milestones."

"TurtleTree Labs’ goal of creating milk from animal cells provides a novel solution towards sustainable dairy production globally, and would also help to strengthen Singapore’s long-term food diversification efforts. We are encouraged that Singapore’s foodtech infrastructure has enabled homegrown startups like TurtleTree Labs to push technological boundaries and obtain quick access to capital. We will continue our efforts to develop a vibrant agri-food tech ecosystem in Singapore to encourage the creation of more innovative solutions," said Ms Bernice Tay, Director, Food Manufacturing Division, Enterprise Singapore.

Investors taking part in the TurtleTree Labs seed round are Green Monday Ventures, KBW Ventures, CPT Capital, Artesian, and New Luna Ventures.

"Food tech innovation in Asia is way overdue. If the rapidly deteriorating climate change situation isn’t enough to convince the world, the pandemic surely hammers home the urgency that we need to overhaul the food system for the sake of public health, food safety, and food security. That explains why Green Monday Ventures is so excited to invest in and collaborate with TurtleTree Labs.  We see immense possibilities in their biotech innovation platform, as well as enormous impact we can drive together," says David Yeung, founder, Green Monday Group

"KBW Ventures has invested in the seed round building on our initial commitment during TurtleTree’s pre-seed raise. We see the founding team commitment and the potential of this company and its technology as a winning combination. Now more than ever, people are waking up to the benefits of food technology and the massive positive implications of innovations in cellular agriculture," said Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KBW Ventures.

TurtleTree Labs raised its initial investment which was led by New YorkHong Kong based Lever VC in 2019, with investors from various geographies. "This fresh round of funding will enhance our scale up development, bringing us one step closer to commercialization," said Max Rye.

For information and interview requests contact: pr@turtletreelabs.com

TurtleTree Labs – TurtleTree Labs is the first biotech company in the world with the ability to create milk from all mammals. Using their proprietary cell-based methods, they will shape the future of not just how we get dairy milk but how humans will feed their infants. To maximise impact, the team will work with industry leaders to adopt their sustainable and safe methods to create milk.  Their focus on impact will disrupt this multi-billion dollar industry while reducing the carbon footprint on this planet, while creating milk free of contaminants. Their innovation will provide millions access to safer, reliable and higher quality dairy products.

Green Monday Ventures – Green Monday Group has an overall mission to "Make Change Happen, Make Green Common" since its establishment in 2012. It is achieved by promoting plant-based eating and environmental protection through its multifaceted social venture model, in hopes of tackling climate change, global food in security and promoting public health. Green Monday Foundation, Green Monday Holdings and Green Monday Ventures are the three main branches of Green Monday Group. Green Monday Ventures is the impact investment arm aimed at accelerating the growth of mission-aligned entrepreneurs and startups globally.

KBW Ventures – KBW Ventures, founded by Chief Executive Officer HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, invests in companies with transformative technologies and business models and the potential for significant financial returns while also delivering positive social impact. The KBW Ventures portfolio spans the venture capital spectrum from earlier stage ventures, to more established companies looking to expand into the Middle East. 

CPT Capital – CPT Capital is the venture arm of a leading private family office. As a long-standing dedicated investor in the alternative protein space, CPT Capital has unmatched experience and expertise investing in companies disrupting the food system.

Artesian – Artesian is a full-stack VC firm investing from seed stage through to exit. The Artesian portfolio comprises over 400 investments across Australia, China, South East Asia, South Asia and the Americas.

New Luna Ventures – New Luna Ventures is a leading impact venture capital advisor and investor in the food 2.0, agriculture, energy, community enrichment, and enabling software industries. We help entrepreneurs build sustainable ventures and connect disruptive ideas with investors and partners. Together, we provide actionable plans, enhanced communications, and expanded access to markets.

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Written by Markus Castro

A cat person by day and a writer by night. He loves to travel to his favorite destinations in Southeast Asia.

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