Aleph Farms cultivated meat.

Cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms lays off 30% of staff

The difficulty in securing significant investment over the past year, coupled with a marked decrease in investor interest in alternative protein and cultivated meat, led to the layoffs

The Israeli cultivated meat company Aleph Farms is laying off about 30 out of around 100 employees, amounting to 30% of the company's workforce. This comes despite the company's recent initial approval from the Ministry of Health for the marketing of its products (pre-marketing approval) and its emergence in recent years as one of the world's leading companies in the cultivated meat industry.
The difficulty in securing significant investment over the past year, coupled with a marked decrease in investor interest in alternative protein and cultivated meat, is now leading to cuts in the company. Aleph Farms had hoped for a different year, according to its strategic plan and promises made to investors. However, a source in the market noted, "They expected a very significant expansion this year, but the situation in Israel is difficult for the entire market. All companies are re-examining their expenses."
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סטייק מתורבת של חברת אלף פארמס
סטייק מתורבת של חברת אלף פארמס
Aleph Farms cultivated meat.
(Photo: Aleph Cuts)
This is against the backdrop of a global decrease in investments in the alternative protein sector, with a much more significant drop in Israel due to the flight of investors amid political and security instability. In 2023, investment in alternative protein companies in Israel dropped by about 80%, compared to a 45% decrease globally.
Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 by Didier Toubia, Dr. Neta Lavon, Professor Shulamit Levenberg from the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion, and the Kitchen FoodTech Hub (a partnership of the Strauss Group and the Israel Innovation Authority). To date, it has raised approximately $140 million, one of the highest amounts in the field of alternative protein in Israel.
The company introduced the world's first cultured beef steak in 2018, the world's first cultured entrecote steak in 2021, and cultured collagen in 2022. Aleph Farms has announced that it will launch its first commercial product, a cultured petite steak consisting mainly of plant materials alongside about 20% cultured meat cells, grown from cells of a Black Angus cow that have not undergone any genetic modification.
The field of cultured meat, which is still largely in the research and development stages, is experiencing significant difficulties worldwide. Many of the largest and most promising companies in the field are retracting past promises and failing to establish factories and release products to the market, even after receiving various regulatory approvals. For example, two companies that sold products with low percentages of cultured meat in two restaurants in the USA have stopped marketing their products. One of them sold cultured chicken nuggets at a restaurant in Singapore one day a week but has since ceased. Now, the product has started to be marketed in one supermarket in limited quantities, containing only 1% cultured chicken, with the remaining ingredients being plant-based.
Aleph Farms stated: "As part of the process of developing the organization and expanding our focus from research and development in Israel to global production on a large scale in various markets, we are adjusting our team structure to match the current stage of the company. Unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to about 30% of our local employees. We are taking care of all the employees affected by this decision and will support them in their job search process."