VitroLabs raises $46 million to build and scale the world’s first pilot production of cellular leather

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The Series A funding is led by Agronomics; other investors include BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, global luxury group Kering, Khosla Ventures, actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprioNew Agrarian and Regeneration.VC

MILPITAS, Calif., May 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — VitroLabs Inc, a Bay Area-based biotech company leading the development of a new science-based process for cultivating the world’s first cellular cultured animal leather, announced today that it has completed its Series A funding to build and scale pilot production. The company has raised a total of $46 million. The Series A funding is led by Agronomics; other investors include BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, global luxury group Kering, Khosla Ventures, actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, New Agrarian and Regeneration.VC. In addition, Kering continues its partnership with VitroLabs by providing support for product quality testing, tanning and finishing.

VitroLabs Inc.

Biotech companies have the opportunity to lead the way by changing the way we produce materials and build supply chains

CEO Ingvar Helgason co-founded VitroLabs with a mission to create the highest quality materials that meet the uncompromising standards of the luxury industry while significantly reducing environmental impact and promoting animal welfare. “At a time when environmental stewardship is more important than ever, biotech companies have the opportunity to lead the way by changing the way we produce materials and build supply chains, working hand in hand. hand with the existing craftsmen and craftsmen who are the cornerstone of the 400 billion dollars the leather goods industry,” says Helgason. “By launching the first cultured leather production, we will take an important step in fulfilling our mission to lead the transition to a more sustainable future.

“At Kering, a chapter/pillar of our sustainable development roadmap is dedicated to sustainable innovation and the active search for alternative materials capable of reducing our environmental impact in the long term is one of the solutions that we have been exploring for years. We believe that innovation is key to meeting the sustainability challenges facing the luxury industry, which is why we are very interested in the potential of biomaterials such as cultured leather,” said Marie-Claire Daveu , Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer at Kering.

Helgason adds: “There has been an explosion of companies developing alternative materials to leather. However, at VitroLabs, our cultured animal leather preserves the biological characteristics that industry, artisans and consumers know and love about leather, while eliminating the most environmentally friendly elements. and the ethically damaging aspects of the conventional leather manufacturing process associated with its sourcing.”

Situated at Milpitas, California, VitroLabs is the first start-up positioned to scale cultured leather. Since 2016, the company has pioneered cutting-edge material made using advanced tissue engineering processes to create cultured animal leather from animal cells only. The company has made significant progress on product quality in the optimization of cell expansion processes and the exclusive design of a new large-scale tissue cultivator. Last fall, VitroLabs moved into its new 45,000 square foot facility, designed for pilot production and lab space as the company transitions from the test bench to commercialization. The Series A funding will be used to accelerate commercialization, with the expansion of scientific, manufacturing and business development teams. “VitroLabs’ scalable tissue engineering platform delivers high-quality, durable leather,” says Jim Melon of agronomy. “We are thrilled to continue our support of VitroLabs, the leader in market-ready luxury cultured leather.”

Co-founder and stem cell researcher Dr. Dusko Ilic states, “Over the past two years, we have been focused on developing our tissue engineering platform to increase efficiency and optimize tissue production to achieve the appearance, feel and performance of traditional full-scale leather. With several major breakthroughs in the areas of bioreactor design, bioprocess and facility design, and cell culture development, we are now on the path to an evolutionary process that delivers the desired superior qualities, opening the way to the ultimate goal of industrialization.

About VitroLabs

VitroLabs, founded in 2016 and based in Milpitas California, is a biotechnology company developing a scalable tissue engineering platform for the efficient and environmentally friendly production of leather from just a few cells. Combining advanced tissue engineering processes with proprietary advancements to achieve commercial scale, VitroLabs is on a mission to produce cell-grown leather that delivers the look, feel and performance of traditional leather without compromise. . The cultured leather process involves taking a unique collection of cells from an animal, which then grows in a nutrient-rich environment. Without ever returning to the animal, the cells grow, divide and turn into tissue. The composition of the material achieves the complexity of traditional hides, containing a variety of proteins that provide a durable and luxurious material when finished, but without the need to rely on animals as an ongoing source of hides. The process is more environmentally sustainable and animal welfare friendly than that used to produce traditional leather. For more information, visit www.vitrolabsinc.com.

VitroLabs Cell Cultured Leather

VitroLabs Cell Cultured Leather

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SOURCE VitroLabs Inc.

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