KBW Ventures Invests In Singapore-Based Biotech Startup TurtleTree Labs

TurtleTree is the world's first company using technology to create real milk from animal cells, with no animal required

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KBW Ventures, founded by HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, has taken part in a pre-seed funding round for Singapore-based startup, TurtleTree Labs.

TurtleTree Labs
Max Rye and Fengru Lin, co-founders, TurtleTree Labs

TurtleTree Labs is the world's first cell-based milk company using technology to create real milk from animal cells, with no animal needed. The pre-seed round is led by Lever VC, a US-Hong Kong venture capital fund specializing in alternative protein investments, and includes KBW Ventures and Silicon Valley-based K2 Global.

TurtleTree Labs CSO Rabail Toor. Source: TurtleTree Labs

Co-founded by CEO Fengru Lin, Chief Scientist Officer Rabail Toor, and Chief Strategist Max Rye, TurtleTree Labs has developed a unique proprietary technology that uses mammary cells to produce real, full milk in clean food production facilities. The end product allows for not just the full functionality of dairy milk, but is also expected to disrupt the existing baby formula industry.

Related: Plant-Based Investments Get GCC Boost From KBW Ventures Founder Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed

"This is long-term investment; we're not in this for the quick win," HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud told Entrepreneur, noting that investing in the development of alternative protein sources that use less natural resources by biotech startups is one way to play a role in solving "what is truly the most pressing issue of our times: the climate crisis."

HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, founder and CEO, KBW Ventures.

According to Rye, 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 this year. "We believe the entire landscape of traditional bovine milk will be transformed as a result of our technology," Lin added.

Prince Khaled noted that aside from its potential to alleviate the damage done by the traditional milk sector, TurtleTree Labs has fantastic market potential. "Not all the companies KBW Ventures invests in have a sustainability element; we choose good, solid business models, and if they also have a sustainability element, then all the better," Prince Khaled said. "Now is the time of plant-based products going big, and soon, we will be saying the same for cellag companies. The technology that TurtleTree is working with is proprietary, so much of the value of biotech and food tech companies is found in their technology-based answers to seemingly futuristic needs. The reality is that the need is here now, and so is the technology."

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