VitroLabs Appoints Significant Board of Directors

VitroLabs Cultivated Leather

As part of its goal to produce opulent next-generation leather from cells, VitroLabs, which secured $46 million in a Series A from well-known investors including Kering and Leonardo DiCaprio this May, has appointed a renowned Board of Directors.

The San Francisco-based startup claims that its cell-cultivated leather has been officially manufactured in its pilot plant and that its R&D team is focusing on developing its patented tissue engineering procedures to build the next-generation leather that premium brands want for their products.

Anthony Chow, a co-founder of Agronomics, and Martin Avetisyan, FARFETCH’s chief growth officer and a member of the executive board, have both been appointed to the board of directors. Agronomics is a cellular agriculture investment firm run by wealthy philanthropist Jim Mellon, and FARFETCH is an online platform for selling high-end fashion items.

“Their exceptional backgrounds growing and scaling biotech innovations and luxury business development will undeniably be tremendous assets to the company’s team as it forges into the next chapter,” said Co-founder and CEO Ingvar Helgason.

“Our team has been deep in R&D to come up with just the solution needed — a true leather replacement that changes the source of leather without changing the leather itself. Within the foreseeable future, we are ushering in a new generation of real animal leather that is luxurious, bespoke, and made without the heavy and unsustainable toll on our planet,” he continued.

Ethical vegan leather

High-profile fashion brands and investors are interested in cultured leather since it eliminates the environmental and social issues that are associated with traditional leather production.

VitroLabs received $46 million in a Series A financing earlier this year to start up production and expand the commercial use of its cultured leather. The French fashion conglomerate Kering, which owns brands like Gucci, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ives Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, was one of the investors. Kering collaborated with VitroLabs on product development and contributed its knowledge of high-end design and quality.

According to VitroLabs, in order to create its cultured leather, all that is required is a sample of an animal’s cells, “without ever going back to the animal again.” The cells are developed in a nutrient-rich environment until they produce a tissue that resembles animal hides in terms of its toughness and opulence.

Lance Kizer was also employed by VitroLabs as CTO. Kizer will oversee the scale-up procedure and the R&D team at VitroLabs as they deliver the “world’s first” cell-cultivated leather to market. Kizer has a wealth of experience scaling ideas for commercialization in the food tech, industrial biochemical, and synthetic biology domains. He was a former co-founder and chief science officer at Cana Technologies.

“I am extremely pleased to have such a strong leadership team at the helm at VitroLabs. Lance, Anthony, and Martin’s unique backgrounds bring a strong addition of product development, scaling commercialization, growing biotech innovations, and developing businesses in luxury fashion to the company. We are now better positioned than ever before to meet our ambitious goals as we enter the next chapter,” Helgason stated.

Source: “DiCaprio Backed VitroLabs Appoints Industry Figures to Bring World’s First Cultivated Leather to Market by vegconomist”

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