Shanghai-based food tech startup, CellX, has completed an A round, led by Lever VC, Better Bite Ventures, and Agronomics. The company engages in cell-cultivated meat products by utilizing 3D bioprinting technology and is committed to providing sustainable animal protein, enhancing human health, and improving animal welfare.
Founded in 2020, CellX is ambitious to become the first homegrown startup to commercialize cultivated meat in China; CellX is one of just three companies in the country dedicated to culturing meat directly from animal cells.
CellX says its focus is squarely on the Chinese market, where securing food supply is a top-priority concern amid the ongoing pandemic and rising livestock diseases. For example, the African swine fever has significantly disrupted the country’s protein supply chain. CellX has established four technology R&D platforms in terms of cell lines, culture medium, new production processes, and innovative products.
Cultured meat may have the potential to address substantial global problems of the environmental impact of meat production, animal welfare, food security, and human health. According to the Founder of CellX, Mr. Yang Ziliang, Cellular Agriculture is a low-carbon and green technology, which uses animal cells, plant cells, and microorganism cells to produce new proteins. Compared with the traditional protein production method, Cellular Agriculture is more efficient and sustainable.
After a year and a half of R&D efforts, CellX’s team has successfully grown a stable “cell seed” and a low-cost culture medium. The breakthrough in these two technologies is key to lowering production costs and scaling up production. Besides that, the company also aims to develop a safe, stable, and efficient cell production process.
CellX also has reached strategic cooperation with leading culture medium companies, universities, both domestic and abroad, and with European cell-cultures seafood company, Bluu Seafood.
Currently, Chinese authorities have been relatively supportive of the plant-based meat sector, but it is unknown whether cultured meat approval is due in the near future. The company is optimistic and said in a statement, “cellular agriculture is well-positioned to help China solve its food safety, supply chain issues, and achieve carbon neutrality.”