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Geltor Raises $91.3M in Series B Funding to Make Animal-Free Collagen

geltor Jul 30, 2020
Geltor announced that the company raised $91.3 million in their Series B funding round. Based in San Leandro, California, Geltor is a biodesign company that uses cellular agriculture to grow animal-free collagen proteins. Traditionally sourced from the bones and skin of livestock animals or fish, Geltor’s collagen via cellular agriculture offers an alternative and more sustainable way to produce the same animal protein products. Without requiring animals in the process.
 
Founded by Alex Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov, Geltor was one of the first cellular agriculture companies to go through IndieBio, a leading life science accelerator in San Francisco, where many other cellular agriculture startups emerged.

Investments

Geltor’s Series B financing was led by UK-based CPT Capital. The funding round also included a significant commitment from Taiwan-based WTT Investment Ltd. Returning investors in the round include Cultivian Sandbox, SOSV, iSelect Fund, the investment arm of global collagen protein company GELITA, and ADM Ventures, the venture arm of global food and feed ingredients supplier Archer Daniels Midland Company.
 
New investors in Geltor’s funding round include Blue Horizon Ventures, RIT Capital Partners, Humboldt Fund, and Pegasus Tech Ventures. 
 
Geltor’s funding round is the largest Series B round to date for an acellular agriculture food company. Perfect Day, which recently raised an enormous $300 million round, previously raised $34.7 million in Series B funding in February 2019
 
Interestingly, the funding round makes Geltor the fourth company exploring food to raise over $100 million to provide a more sustainable and less resource-intensive way to produce animal proteins. The funding round brings Geltor’s total funding to $116.3 million. In October 2018, Geltor raised $18.2 million in Series A funding.
 
Following their investments in Geltor’s Series A round, it’s promising to see GELITA and Archer Daniels Midland invest in Geltor’s Series B to continue supporting the innovative company. There are many obstacles in scaling production and bringing a product to market, and partnerships with established industry players may help Geltor overcome them.
 
In October 2019, Geltor and GELITA signed a partnership to develop, produce, and market the first ingestible animal-free collagen proteins. Specifically, the two companies plan to develop dietary supplements using animal-free collagen.  They now aim to launch in 2021.

Geltor and Animal-Free Collagen

Collagen can serve many different functions and can be used in a range of different products. From leather and cosmetics to food products, the global demand for collagen grew by 25% over the past year. With a surge in sales of their first products, Geltor highlighted that its animal-free collagen is just as versatile as its animal-free counterpart.
 
Geltor has launched several different products in the cosmetic and beauty industry. In May 2018, Geltor received the beauty industry CEW’s Award for Innovation for their first cosmetic product: Collume (formerly N-Collage), a collagen product for use skincare use.
 
In March 2019, Geltor launched HumaColl21, the first ever human collagen created for cosmetic formulations. Their innovative product is currently being used by Kolmar Korea, a leading personal care manufacturer in Asia, in AHC’s anti-aging face cream “Ageless Real Eye Cream for Face”.
 
In April 2020, Geltor announced that the launch of their latest product: Elastapure, the first human elastin protein designed for skincare use. Elastin is an important protein for skin health, and it’s great to see Geltor launch another protein product to compliment their collagen portfolio. 

Creating a sustainable future: Ingredient as a Service

While announcing Elastapure in April,  Geltor also announced an extensive Custom Services partnership model to allow brands to work with their biodesign team to develop ingredients to use across various categories.
 
With the latest funding round, Geltor plans to further improve their ingredients-as-a-service platform to help more companies and brands transition into sustainable products. By working with customers to develop tailored bioactive ingredients, Geltor can develop custom ingredients from concept to launch in 12 months using their biodesign platform.
 
By helping companies and brands design custom proteins, Geltor aims to make it as easy as possible for their customers to transition to more sustainable and less resource-intensive products.

Conclusion

Despite the impact of Covid-19 in disrupting industrial supply chain around the world, Geltor was able to scale its fermentation-based technology platform up 100 times and produce hundreds of new proteins to help customers produce their custom ingredients in a sustainable manner. Compared to the conventional animal product supply chain, Geltor's scaling highlights how cellular agriculture can contribute to making reliable and resilient supply chains all around the world.
 
Through their new funding round, Geltor aims to ultimately help more companies transition to make better products through their biodesign platform. The company plans to use the new funding round to accelerate its business growth, including scaling business and manufacturing operations, such as their custom ingredient service.
 
Geltor’s massive funding round continues a year of enormous funding rounds for cellular agriculture companies. Earlier in July, Perfect Day announced an enormous expanded Series C round of $300 million to produce animal-free dairy proteins. In January, Memphis Meats raised over $161 million in Series B funding to make cell-based meat.
 
With Geltor’s latest funding round, the total amount of funding for cellular agriculture companies surpass $1 billion dollars. All to create the future of food.

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