- Fengru Lin is the cofounder of TurtleTree, a foods-tech enterprise with offices in the US and Singapore.
- TurtleTree is a enterprise that produces cell-based mostly milk without having the will need for cows.
- Here is Lin’s story and the pitch deck she utilized to raise income, as informed to author Claire Turrell.
This as-instructed-to essay is centered on a discussion with Fengru Lin, the cofounder of TurtleTree. It has been edited for size and clarity.
I’ve normally been a foodie, but very little did I know that my cheesemaking passion would spark the idea for a multimillion-greenback small business.
My research for the excellent uncooked-milk elements brought me confront-to-face with the harsh realities of dairy farming in the region I lived in of Southeast Asia. Cows were being being pumped with antibiotics and hormones, and I assumed, There have to be a much better way to make dairy create.
I bumped into my now cofounder, Max Rye, in 2018 when he was supplying a talk about sustainability at the Google workplace in Singapore, wherever I labored at the time in product sales on the Google Cloud team. Other corporations were being by now doing the job on cell-dependent meat and shellfish, and we questioned if we could generate mobile-based milk likewise to how they were reproducing meat cells in a bioreactor, like a microbrewery.
In January 2019, we launched the cell-based dairy enterprise TurtleTree. We bootstrapped the corporation with $500,000 of our own revenue, employed two microbiologists, and rented a lab at a investigation facility in Singapore. Ten months later, we filed our first mobile-primarily based-milk patent. We now have 42 employees across 3 areas, and we launched our very first US place of work in Davis in west Sacramento, California, in September 2021 and an additional place of work a couple of months later on in Boston.
As quickly as we had been all set to file our to start with patent, I made a decision to go away Google
Max, who experienced an entrepreneurial tech qualifications in California, also chose to go whole-time.
When COVID-19 strike, it highlighted the significance of our perform even more. As Singapore imports 90% of its foodstuff, the potential to generate meals within shut proximity of the city to cut down squander and increase the supply chain turned even additional essential.
The pandemic could’ve afflicted our ideas, but the Singapore regulators deemed us an crucial organization, so our scientists could go on operating in the lab though workplace employees labored from home.
Though the microbiologists labored on refining the product or service, Max and I achieved with prospective investors, used a headhunter to support us locate the right personnel for the enterprise, and took a “Company of Biotech” system at MIT on the net to aid us understand the economics of biotech investments and how to scale biotech providers. We also commenced trying to get mentors, a person staying sustainability professor Nathaniel Salpeter of the nonprofit Sweet Farms, who advises corporations and the US governing administration on foodstuff biotech. He is been supportive from the minute I first emailed him.
We began fundraising in June 2020 and between our preseed and Seed rounds, we raised $9.4 million from buyers. Then in November 2021, we elevated $30 million in our Collection A led by Verso Money, which is now remaining put in on getting our procedures all set to convey it to industrial scale, escalating the group to support bring it to market, and opening a new producing facility outside the house of Singapore and the US.
All through our study stage with potential B2B customers, we have been asked if we could produce the immune-boosting protein lactoferrin, which is identified in mother’s milk. We built this ingredient our focus, and as soon as it truly is permitted by regulators, we hope to promote it to our newborn-foods-brand buyers the pursuing calendar year. We also created Gut Logic, which is made up of lactoferrin and complex sugars but is developed for grownup nourishment brand names.
Prior to we pitched investors, we acquired to edit the deck for our audience
If we’re talking to buyers who are pretty educated about the foods-tech space, we incorporate a lot more specifics all-around the specialized places, or if we’re conversing to traders who care more about sustainability and the UN’s targets, we communicate a minor little bit more about individuals. For me, the a few key slides in the deck incorporate slide five, the size of the market slide four, the items that we’ve produced that supply a sustainable alternative and slides 8 and nine, the slides that display the expertise of our staff.
Nonetheless, slide seven, the milestone slide, is also crucial to exhibit the development of the corporation. Each and every 12 months our milestones are themed: 2020 was the calendar year of profitable a great deal of competitions for us, including the Entrepreneurship Globe Cup. The concentrate of 2021 was talent and selecting workforce from providers these types of as biotech business Novozymes. Now 2022 is the yr of scale with the launch of our manufacturing facility.
A few-and-a-fifty percent decades immediately after commencing, we are now searching at bringing our first solution to marketplace. This is the pitch deck that aided us get here.