This week, Singapore-based startup Turtle Tree Labs raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed investment round led by venture capital fund Lever VC, with participation from local fund K2 Global and KBW Ventures—an investment firm founded by Saudi Arabian vegan Prince Khaled Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud. The company is using its proprietary technology to create dairy-identical milk from cells without exploiting animals. In addition to creating cruelty-free bovine milk, Turtle Tree is making human breast milk to disrupt the baby formula industry. “KBW Ventures’ interest in TurtleTree stems from both the team vision and the company’s strategic approach to the future of food using stem cell technology,” Prince Khaled said. “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.” Turtle Tree will use the funding to build its scientific team and release new prototypes with the goal of debuting its products to the public this spring. “We believe the entire landscape of traditional bovine milk will be transformed as a result of our technology,” Turtle Tree CEO and co-founder Fengru Lin said. Stateside, California-based startup Perfect Day is using its yeast-based technology to create dairy-identical milk—which it showcased in a limited-edition ice cream line last year—with the mission of producing animal-free dairy products without exploiting animals.
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