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IndieBio’s cultivated meat startup Prolific Machines emerges from stealth with $42M from investors
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Hannah DeTavis
IndieBio’s founder Arvind Gupta shared five valuable lessons he learned from investing in cultivated meat startup Prolific Machines. Source: Prolific Machines

IndieBio’s cultured meat startup Prolific Machines has emerged from stealth mode, announcing  $42M in combined seed and series A funding. Prolific Machines started in SOSV’s IndieBio development program, and Arvind Gupta at Mayfield (previously co-founder of IndieBio) led the $3.1M seed round, followed by the series A led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures. 

TechCrunch described how Prolific Machines is taking a “Henry Ford approach” to cultured meat by developing a scalable “assembly-line” manufacturing process to create cultivated proteins. Prolific Machines’ technology greatly reduces the costs associated with the recombinant proteins in growth mediums used today by startups focused on cultivated proteins. They plan to produce their own cultivated meats as well as license their technology to other cultivated meat producers.

Po Bronson, managing director at IndieBio and general partner at SOSV, commented that “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.”

“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,” Gupta said in Prolific Machines’ press release. “I am convinced Prolific Machines will be a winner in the race for sustainable food production.”

In a separate post on Mayfield’s website, Gupta reflected on the insights he took away from investing in Prolific Machines

The history of technological revolution occurs in a cycle of invention first and scalability second, he argued, where innovations are made affordable and accessible. Prolific Machines is revolutionizing the assembly-line process to manufacture cultured meats and more. By eliminating the most expensive driver of cell culture—recombinant growth factors—industries beyond meat production, including drug production, can adopt lower priced, more sustainable ingredients. He also noted that great founders are radicals, and Prolific Machines’ co-founder and CEO Dr. Deniz Kent found his radical inspiration in a desire to put his background in stem cell research to work in the fight against climate change through more sustainable food production.

Prolific also published the list of investors who have joined to back Prolific Machines. They include: 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. A number of celebrities and restaurateurs have also invested in Prolific including: Kevin Love, Tobias Harris, Meek Mill, Ciara & Russell Wilson, Emily Ratajkowski, Maverick Carter, Sean Feeney, Michael Schulson, Mark Bucher, and RJ Melman.

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