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April 21, 2021

North Carolina-based biotech startup Jellatech announces its $2M pre-seed fundraise. Investors in this round include Iron Grey, YellowDog, Seven Hound Ventures, Capital V, Sentient Investments, Bluestein Ventures, Sustainable Food Ventures and Big Idea Ventures. The funding will enable Jellatech to further develop their cell-based, animal-free collagen and gelatin with applications in various industries, such as food & beverage, skincare & cosmetics, and medical & pharmaceutical.

“We are excited and proud to have the support of our investors who believe in our company and the future we are building.” - Stephanie Michelsen, Co-founder & CEO. “We know that the demand and the need is there, and now we have the fuel to realize it”.

The collagen and gelatin market is a huge market that continues to grow. Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the health benefits that these proteins can provide. Rather than isolating collagen from inedible leftovers from animals in the meat industry, Jellatech uses cellular agriculture to manufacture real animal-free collagen and gelatin ingredients.

Jellatech has received a lot of inquiries from potential customers and partners hungry to get their hands on Jellatech’s first animal-free collagen and gelatin ingredient products and are excited to announce that their first samples will be shipping out by the end of April.

“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.” - Stephanie Michelsen, Co-founder & CEO

While the motivation to create animal-free collagen and gelatin is clear, it’s a complex and challenging protein to create outside an animal. Current alternatives, such as animal-free collagen peptides and plant-based pectin or agar can occasionally substitute conventional collagen and gelatin. These alternatives however, lack the functionality of native collagen which limits the applications. In other words, these alternatives fall short. Jellatech’s collagen is biologically identical to native collagen which makes it a true replacement for animal-derived collagen.

“Being able to manufacture native collagen without animals is unique, this is what makes our technology truly groundbreaking” - Kylie Hesp, Co-founder & Head of Science

‘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”. Stephanie Michelsen, Co-founder & CEO

Photo by: Camilo Muños Segovia for Jellatech 



November 4, 2020

Jellatech today announces the launch of their cell culture-based collagen and gelatin ingredient company. Supported by Big Idea Ventures and Sustainable Food Ventures, Jellatech is producing higher quality, purer and safer collagen and gelatin with applications in various industries such as food & beverage, skincare & cosmetics and medical & pharmaceutical. 

“Instead of isolating and purifying collagen and gelatin from animals we grow it – using cells in a bioreactor. We don’t require acres of land, live anima†ls, shipping, slaughtering and various complicated processes to produce collagen – with our proprietary method we design, grow and purify collagen and gelatin, all in the same place. This way we can ensure high quality, purity, and safe, sustainable downstream processes” Stephanie Michelsen, Co-Founder & CEO. 

“Our goal is to produce slaughter-free and sustainable collagen and gelatin using cell culture, helping society stop depending on animals for food and cosmetics products. Because we have complete control over all stages of the process, the collagen we produce will also be safer, purer, and of higher quality than that extracted from animal carcasses” Kylie van Deinsen-Hesp, Co-Founder & Head of Science.

The collagen and gelatin industry is an industry that is based on the boiling of animal skin & bones and bits & pieces. Despite being on the back of animal carcasses and meat-industry byproducts, it’s a 3.5 billion dollar market with a 9% compound annual growth rate. 

“We’re excited to be investing and backing two incredible scientist entrepreneurs on a mission to end the use of animals for collagen and gelatin in the cosmetics and food industries, using cell-based alternatives to animal products is a game changer for our planet and for the animals” Ryan Bethencourt, Partner, Sustainable Food Ventures

“A big idea from a great team who will grow the best quality gelatin and collagen products from cells. Jellatech’s approach eradicates the traditional complex steps to purify, concentrate, and dry gelatin from fish skins, bovine bone, and porcine skins. Jellatech’s ambition is to deliver better quality gelatin and collagen in a simpler, more sustainable way.” Andrew D. Ive, Managing General Partner, Big Idea Ventures.

Jellatech is a B2B biotech business based in Raleigh, NC and with R&D in Wageningen, Netherlands. Jellatech is producing high quality, pure, animal-free collagen and gelatin. Founded by a group of innovators, dreamers, entrepreneurs and scientists, Jellatech is eliminating the dependency on animals, to make better ingredient products - starting with collagen and gelatin.

Photo by: Camilo Muños Segovia for Jellatech 

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