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Orbillion Bio's Asian Expansion Gains Momentum with Earth VC Investment Defying Industry Turbulence

Earth VC backs Cultivated Meat Startup with Strategic Investment to expand into Singapore, the pioneer market of the Cultivated Meat Industry.

Earth Venture Capital (Earth VC), a global climate tech venture capital firm based in Vietnam, today announced its strategic investment in an innovative US-based cultivated meat startup Orbillion Bio (Orbillion). This investment round, co-led by The Venture Collective and At One Ventures, with participation from Y Combinator and Metaplanet, marks a significant step in the startup’s effort to scale up production and further develop its technology.

Livestock farming is estimated to contribute approximately 11.1-19.6% of global GHG emissions. While plant-based proteins are popular, meat demand is still projected to rise due to income and population growth, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. To sustainably feed the world and protect the planet, a new method of producing animal protein is needed, and cultivated meat could be the solution.

Earth VC, known for its focus on climate deep-tech startups, sees this investment in Orbillion Bio as a key opportunity to support the growth of the cultivated meat industry, which they believe is one of the forefront breakthrough innovations that will help reduce GHG emissions from livestock farming and meat production.

Founded in 2020 by Patricia Bubner, Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, and Samet Yildirim, Orbillion, alumni of Y Combinator, specializes in producing Wagyu beef cells. They aim to emerge as a leading B2B supplier of beef muscle and fat cells, with a focus on the ground beef market. Currently valued at $78 billion in the US alone, this market presents significant opportunities for Orbillion's growth and expansion.

Before this funding round, in September 2023, Orbillion conducted a 200-liter production run in Singapore in an unprecedented timeframe. This run, conducted after less than one month of tech transfer, demonstrates their bioprocess adaptability to existing bioreactor infrastructure, making Orbillion the first pre-Series A company to achieve a 200-liter run with under $10M in funding. Additionally, Orbillion partnered with Luiten Food, a European leader in premium meats, to bring cell-cultured Wagyu beef to over 35 countries pending EU regulatory approval. This partnership will leverage Luiten Food’s network of 1,200 distribution channels, paving the way for Orbillion’s premium product to reach the market.

We are thrilled to partner with Earth VC as we set up our presence in Singapore and explore the Asian market," said Patricia, CEO of the startup. “Orbillion is a cultivated meat leader because we’ve shown we can successfully scale up in a fraction of the time and cost of other cultivated meat companies. These technical breakthroughs are critical for Orbillion and the industry, but we never lose sight of our customers and end consumers. We’re incredibly encouraged by the forward-looking regulatory stance and consumers in the Asian market and are thrilled to welcome such a knowledgeable and aligned investor to this charge.

Despite challenges in the industry, including regulatory restrictions in some US states, Earth VC is super optimistic about the future of cultivated meat. “We see this as a prime time to invest,” said Linh Nguyen, Founding Partner of Earth VC. “We're in the early stages of technology adoption, and resistance to change is understandable. We believe things will be different in a few years, and this partnership aims to push the industry forward, especially in the East. Positive developments in regulation have emerged not only in Singapore but also in Korea, Japan, China, and beyond.” When asked why Orbillion, Linh added “Orbillion is unique in this field. Their technology can adapt rapidly to new types of meat, and go to mass scale while still being very earth-friendly with low energy consumption and water saving. This is perfectly aligned with our fund and our planet."

Looking to harness these upcoming opportunities, Orbillion is swiftly moving towards achieving price parity with conventional beef, targeting an output of 4 million pounds of finished product annually. They achieve this by focusing on the scalability of their technology which lies in an asset-light production system, optimized bioprocess, and developing a predictive algorithm for cultivated cells to enable rapid scale-up, what Orbillion calls “the algorithm for cultivated meat”. Orbillion's platform simulates the ultimate conditions for scaling mammalian cell cultures and predicts how cells will behave when moving from flat surfaces to liquid suspension. This approach minimizes the need for costly lab trials and allows them to produce the most end product with the least resources.

This funding round takes Orbillion’s total raised fund to $15M. The investment will primarily fund the startup's efforts to achieve pre-commercial scale and bring its first product to the market.


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