- Prolific Machines recently announced it emerged from stealth and announced an oversubscribed Seed and Series A funding round. These are the details.
Prolific Machines recently announced it emerged from stealth and announced an oversubscribed Seed and Series A funding round.
Seed round investors: Led by Arvind Gupta at Mayfield
Series A round investors: Led by Bill Gates founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The lead VCs were joined by several co-investors such as David Adelman, Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks), The Kraft Group (owners of the New England Patriots), David Rubenstein, Michael Rubin, Breyer Capital, The SALT Fund, Purple Orange Ventures, Fred Blackford, Jake Poliskin, and Baruch Future Ventures.
What Prolific does: Prolific is unique in that they are inventing the scalable manufacturing process first, and a product second. This is very different to the path taken by other cultured meat companies. And Prolific aims to do for biology what Henry Ford did for automobiles. In 1906, there were hundreds of car companies, yet most people could not afford a car. After Ford invented the assembly line for automobiles, car production became scalable, and then cars became a mass market item. Prolific is inventing the technology that holds the key to building a scalable assembly line for biology.
Founding of the company: Dr. Deniz Kent, Co-founder and CEO of Prolific Machines, started the company after witnessing the Syrian refugee crisis in his hometown of Antioch, Turkey. And he realized that what he experienced would be nothing compared to the impending global refugee crises caused by climate change. Plus he knew his expertise in stem cell biology could be used to create a sustainable food system, but lacked confidence in the ability of existing technologies to compete with factory farming on cost. So he came up with a new way to grow and control cells without the need for any recombinant proteins, the most expensive ingredients in cell production, and spent three years searching for the right co-founders while the idea marinated in his mind – which included a physicist Dr. Max Huisman and machine learning engineer Declan Jones.
“We are of the opinion that existing technologies being deployed in cultured meat will not reach price parity with factory farming. A fundamentally new approach is going to be required. We are inventing this new approach, and I’m open to making our technology available to every meat company. Our mission is to address the existential risks posed by our changing climate, and we have no time to waste.”
“We are building a 25,000 square foot HQ in Emeryville and ramping up hiring to expand our assembly line programs, including fish, poultry, and beef. If you are talented and looking to make a historic change, come and talk to us.”
— Dr. Deniz Kent
“I never intended to invest in another cultured meat company. But when Deniz showed me what they were doing, I was blown away by the creativity in their approach to reinvent the assembly line for food production. It is my goal to help reverse climate change by partnering with incredible teams, and I am convinced Prolific Machines will be a winner in the race for sustainable food production.”
— Arvind Gupta, partner at Mayfield
“Prior to meeting Prolific we had come to the conclusion that a fundamental breakthrough would be required for cultured meat to be economically competitive with conventional meat production. We believe that Prolific Machines may be this breakthrough. Prolific’s novel technology has the potential to enable the cost-competitive production of high-quality cultured meat products and they have the team to execute it.”
— Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures
“Prolific was a radical idea with a truly incredible team, exactly what IndieBio loves. Prolific has broken all of the records at IndieBio, and I see their technology as the best in this space.”
— Po Bronson, Managing Director at IndieBio and General Partner at SOSV