Manchester-based molecular farming startup Bright Biotech has secured $3.2 million in funding in an oversubscribed funding round. The investment round was led by FoodLabs (which backed Bevy) and includes world-class impact investors, including Big Idea Ventures, CPT Capital (which backed Hoxton Farms), the FoodHack syndicate, and business angels.
Growth plans ahead
With the investment, Bright Biotech will foster its R&D for a new genetic engineering method to make growth factors, expand its team of high-profile scientists and scale its manufacturing operations. The company is bringing its revolutionary technology to the industry, moving the world one step closer to enjoying the next generation of meat.
“We are glad to have won such renowned and like-minded investors backing our vision for a more sustainable food system”, said Mohammad El Hajj, co-founder and CEO of Bright Biotech. “With the fresh funding and our growing team of experienced scientists and production experts we are set for rapid commercialisation. Our technology is very timely for the cultivated meat industry, and we are thrilled to be working with our partners and investors to have the first products from our robust, ultra-scalable and sustainable technology available on the market in 2023.”
“Bright Biotech’s approach to harnessing chloroplasts for manufacturing growth factors in plants can be a game changer for the cultivated meat industry and will be a key enabler to achieve price parity”, said Christian Guba, Senior Associate at FoodLabs. “Mohammad and his team have impressed us not only with their deep expertise but also with a pace and progress rarely seen in terms of getting to market. We are very excited to support them in building a global champion.”
Sustainable cultivated meat
Cultivated meat is a solution to the increasing demand for animal proteins as the world continues to experience economic and population growth. Animal factory farming is cruel and not sustainable. Enabled by science, cultivated meat is biologically equivalent to meat from animals.
Industrialising cultivated meat will reverse the harm done to animals, people, and the environment and we get to keep the enjoyable, delicious, and nutritious meat experiences. Bright Biotech will facilitate and enable the industrialisation of cultivated meat tackling a $116 billion global industry by 2040.
Founded by Mohammad El Hajj and Anil Day (University supervisor), former employers and business mentors Tariq Ali, Farid Khan, and Rania Deranieh (an expert in cell culture) in 2019 in Manchester, Bright is a team of 5 diverse people from different nationalities and backgrounds.
Bright Biotech can make cultivated meat in large quantities at a meagre cost. It can directly impact the goal of achieving price parity for cultivated meat to reduce their unsustainable reliance on animal agriculture. It is touted that no other competing system has reported such a high yield with ultra-high scalability. The plants of Bright Biotech are the bioreactors and produce proteins with only light, water, and CO2.