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Fri 26 Jun 2020 02:00 PM

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Prince Khaled invests in Singaporean biotech startup for the second time

TurtleTree Labs is the fourth KBW Ventures portfolio company making waves in lab grown proteins

Prince Khaled invests in Singaporean biotech startup for the second time

TurtleTree Labs co-founders, Fengru Lyn and Max Rye pictured with Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures during a visit to Dubai in February this year. 

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, committed additional capital into the alternative protein space, according to an announcement made by Singapore-based startup TurtleTree Labs.

Specialising in lab grown milk, TurtleTree Labs boasts a team of more than 20 full-time scientists and engineers.

The $3.2 million seed round attracted a number of other high profile investment firms including Green Monday Ventures, CPT Capital, Artesian and New Luna Ventures.

KBW Ventures was also an investor in the company’s pre-seed raise in January.

Prince Khaled, stressing the need for more VCs to look at alternative proteins as a food security solution and a more environmentally-sound, sustainable method of production, is a vocal advocate of future food companies and still the only regional investor active in the space.

TurtleTree Labs co-founders, Fengru Lyn and Max Rye, emphasised that funding and other support from the Singaporean government, specifically Enterprise Singapore, was crucial to the company’s continued success and team expansion during the global pandemic that saw many companies shutter or drastically reduce staff and production.

Prince Khaled said that he sees “the founding team commitment and the potential of this company and its technology as a winning combination,” adding that in light of Covid-19 and the increasing likelihood of zoonotic diseases, “people are waking up to the benefits of food technology and the massive positive implications of innovations in cellular agriculture.”

Prince Khaled’s investments in the growing food tech sector include headline-maker Memphis Meats, alternative protein Bond Pet Foods, and cellular aquaculture startup BlueNalu.

Earlier this year, Prince Khaled spoke to CNBC about what he calls the world’s increasingly “urgent need” to find a better way to source protein, citing a number of reasons including climate change and the environmental pitfalls of traditional animal agriculture.

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