North Carolina-based biotech startup Jellatech today announces a $2 million pre-seed fundraise to further develop its cell-based, animal-free collagen and gelatin products which have applications in skincare & cosmetics, and medical & pharmaceutical as well as food & beverage.
According to TechCrunch, the global collagen market is expected to reach $7.5 billion by 2027 and the gelatin market is set to hit $6.7 billion over the same period. With conscious consumerism on the rise in the wake of Covid, demand for sustainable, vegan alternatives is increasing globally.
Jellatech is producing real collagen and gelatin through cellular agriculture, as opposed to through the isolation of these parts from meat industry byproducts. The company reports that it has received several inquiries from potential customers and partners keen to obtain early samples, which will be shipping by the end of this month.
Investors in this round include Iron Grey, YellowDog, 7 Hound Ventures, Michiel van Deursen‘s Capital V, Sentient Investments, Bluestein Ventures, Ryan Bethencourt‘s Sustainable Food Ventures and Big Idea Ventures.
“We are excited and proud to have the support of our investors who believe in our company and the future we are building,” says Stephanie Michelsen, Co-founder & CEO. “We know that the demand and the need is there, and now we have the fuel to realize it.
“This funding and support has enabled us to accelerate the development of our products and we have been able to advance the distribution of our first collagen samples, which is a really exciting thing that our team is very proud of.”
“We know that the demand and the need is there, and now we have the fuel to realize it.”
Current alternatives, such as animal-free collagen peptides and plant-based pectin or agar lack the functionality of native collagen, hence limiting the applications. Jellatech’s collagen is biologically identical to native collagen which makes it a true replacement for animal-derived collagen.
“If you love collagen (whether it’s for gummy bears, supplements, tissue engineering, materials or as other ingredients) and you love animals and the planet, we want to offer an option where you don’t have to choose one or the other. With this $2M fundraise we are one step closer to making that a reality,” enthuses Michelsen.