Co-founded by CEO Fengru Lin, CSO Rabail Toor, and chief strategist Max Rye, TurtleTree Labs is the world's first cell-based milk company using technology to create milk from animal cells, with no animal needed.
TurtleTree said its breakthrough allows for not just the full functionality of dairy milk but will also disrupt the existing baby formula industry.
The pre-seed round, led by Lever VC, a venture capital fund specializing in alternative protein investments, includes KBW Ventures and K2 Global.
"What TurtleTree Labs is doing is fascinating, and their technology could be a serious disruptor in the global dairy industry," said Nick Cooney, founder and managing partner at Lever VC.
"They are the first company in the world producing real, whole milk from cell cultivation - which opens the door for safer, healthier and customized dairy products that can be produced with far fewer natural resources."
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, said, "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. 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."
TurtleTree uses mammary cells to produce real, full milk, the end product being the same as human breast milk and cow milk, which will be sold as food products.
"The seed funding will be used to further build out the company's scientific team and to create additional prototypes. TurtleTree Labs plans to publicly debut the world's first cultivated milk (and mother's milk) products in the spring," said Rye.
Lin said the focus now is to bring in the right talent during the company's early stage to provide TurtleTree the support needed for rapid acceleration, thereby contributing in the global change the company is passionate about.
"We believe the entire landscape of human breast and traditional bovine milk will be transformed as a result of our technology," Lin said.
K2 Global founder, Ozi Amanat, said, "The next level of disruption will come from food technology companies solving heath and sustainability at a mass level. TT is solving for an important gap in the food chain at a critical time in history.”