August 23, 2022

JIMCO invests in biotech start-up VitroLabs Inc to build and scale the world’s first pilot production of cell cultivated leather

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  • VitroLabs Series A funding raises US$ 46 million
  • JIMCO joins other investors including BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, global luxury group Kering, Khosla Ventures, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Dubai, UAE – August 23, 2022:

Jameel Investment Management Company (JIMCO) has announced that its’ JIMCO Technology Fund has participated in the recent US $46 million Series A funding round for VitroLabs Inc, a biotechnology start-up working at the cutting edge of 3D tissue engineering using stem cell-based technologies.

Based in Milpitas, California, VitroLabs is the first start-up positioned to bring cultivated leather to scale.  Since 2016, the Company has been pioneering this cutting-edge material made by using advanced tissue engineering processes to create cell cultivated animal leather from only a few animal cells.  

VitroLabs has made significant progress on product quality in the optimization of cell expansion processes and proprietary design of a novel, large-scale tissue cultivator.  Last fall, VitroLabs moved into its new, 45,000 square foot facility, designed for pilot production and laboratory space as the company moves from the bench towards commercialization.

Ingvar Helgason, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, VitroLabs said: “At a time when environmental stewardship is more important than ever, biotech companies have the opportunity to lead the way in changing how we produce materials and build supply chains, working hand in hand with existing artisans and craftspeople who are the cornerstone of the US$ 400 billion leather goods industry. 

By launching the first production of cultivated leather, we’ll hit a major milestone in fulfilling our mission to lead the shift towards a more sustainable future.”

Sidhesh Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, JIMCO, said: “Since 2016, VitroLabs has been pioneering these cutting-edge materials.  This is state-of-the-art biotechnology at its finest and is a true example of disrupting an established sector for future sustainability. 

 “At JIMCO, we apply our responsible investment principles to seek out,  partner with, and invest in businesses which are delivering innovative and disruptive ways to create propositions that mitigate climate change and drive our global economy to a more sustainable future. 

We’re inspired by the vision of the VitroLabs team and look forward to supporting their ambitious vision.”

The Jameel Family, through their globally diversified business Abdul Latif Jameel, first entered the automotive sector when the late Abdul Latif Jameel saw the transformative impact of cars on the mobility of individuals, over 65 years ago.  Today, Abdul Latif Jameel has developed a global portfolio focusing on the future of core sectors including mobility, energy, finance, and health across 30+ markets and six continents.

Notes for Editors

About VitroLabs

VitroLabs, founded in 2016 and headquartered in Milpitas California, is a biotech company developing a scalable tissue engineering platform for the efficient and environmentally friendly production of leather from only a few cells.  Combining advanced tissue engineering processes with proprietary advances to achieve commercial scale, VitroLabs is on a mission to produce cell cultivated leather that achieves the look, feel and performance of traditional leather without compromise.  The cultivated leather process involves taking a one-time collection of cells from an animal, which then grows in a nutrient-rich environment.  Without ever going back to the animal again, the cells grow, divide, and form into tissue.  The composition of the material achieves the complexity of traditional hides, containing a variety of proteins that make up a durable and luxurious material when finished, but without the need to go to animals as an ongoing source of hides.  The process is more environmentally sustainable and favorable for animal welfare than that which is used to produce traditional leather.

For more information, visit


JIMCO (the Abdul Latif Jameel Investment Management Company) consolidates under one name an established Jameel Family tradition of investing in innovative ideas and businesses promising positive change that stretches back to, at least, the early 1980s.  Today, JIMCO is an active global investor in innovative, early-stage and breakthrough ventures, business models and emergent technologies, aiming to positively shape the future of core industries driving the global economy. 

These investments are diverse and embrace medical and healthcare industries, fintech, insurtech, electric vehicles and future mobility solutions, and the future of energy, amongst others, and are made in carefully selected and targeted funds and also in fledgling businesses, but all have a common focus in the pursuit of a more sustainable tomorrow.

JIMCO comprises a number of independent legal entities, there are three primary fund brands:

  • The JIMCO Technology Fund – focusing on venture building, both through select, targeted funds and direct investments.
  • The JIMCO Life Sciences Fund – focusing on both direct and fund investments in life sciences, biotech and health care, from pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics to cutting-edge medical device technologies and techniques, and
  • The JIMCO Strategic Asset Fund – focusing on forward-thinking fund with a clear, aligned, long-term vision, with relevant sector specialization from sustainability initiatives to drivers of global energy transformation towards renewable, sustainable and clean sources of power.

For more information, visit, and our brand video here or contact: for general inquiries or for press inquiries(GMT +4 hours UAE.

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