Yilmaz Bora, founder, and managing partner of Ace Ventures, a London-based venture capital fund focused on investing in alternative protein startups, has seen the global market for plant-based foods grow faster than any other sector of the food industry in recent years.
Who is Yilmaz Bora
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, He quickly became aware of the impact food has on the environment and health through a variety of documentaries and books. His mother and father are lawyers, and he graduated from law school. He owned a French Bulldog called Ace. His respect for animals and love for Ace led him to go vegan. Now, as the founder and managing partner of London-based company Ace Ventures, he invests in alternative protein startups trying to solve some of these challenges. He also owns Primeval Foods, a company that offers lab-grown exotic meats.
How did Yilmaz start investing in alternative protein companies?
Bora was devastated when Ace passed away from lymphoma, but he realized there was an opportunity for him to do something good. He saw the chance to invest in companies like Meatless Farm, AKUA, Moku Foods, and others and give them the funding they needed to succeed. Through his work at Ace Ventures, Bora wants to make every decision that must be made to contribute positively to animals’ lives. With his dog’s passing and being able to turn it into a meaningful way of giving back, Yilmaz says a lot more needs to be done.
The Importance of Alternative Proteins
Alternative proteins are essential for several reasons, including their impact on the environment, human health, and society. They can be more sustainable than animal-based protein, which is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Plus, engaging with a company that produces vegan or plant-based products is easier because there’s no conflict over slaughtering animals. With these benefits, it’s easy to see why this is an increasingly popular space to invest in. I believe we’re only at the beginning stages of alternative proteins, says Yilmaz Bora from Ace Ventures. After engaging with different kinds of activism, he understands that activism is not enough in today’s capitalist world to have a meaningful impact on animal welfare. So he launched Ace Ventures in 2020 in London, UK, and started to invest in alternative protein startups US, UK, and EU.
A unique thinking
Rather than work with companies devoted to combating climate change, Yilmaz is joining the effort of a new generation of leaders who want to liberate animals and save the environment.
An increasing number of these start-ups, including Primeval Foods, founded in 2022, are attempting to develop in vitro meats in laboratories. Contrary to the plant-based alternatives produced by businesses like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, cellular meat start-ups are putting a lot of effort into creating and eventually selling large amounts of lab-grown flesh identical to the original product. This means that while the meat we see on our shop shelves still has the same appearance, texture, and flavor profile, there is less animal mortality and suffering involved, in addition to the detrimental effects of food production on the ecosystem.
Primeval Foods is a cultivated meat company that has been working on producing exotic species like lions, tigers, zebras, and more, different from other cultivated meat companies. He found himself energized by being a part of these efforts: It was not enough for what was happening in the world. To fight this global issue, he launched Primeval Foods.
What exactly do Primeval Foods and Ace ventures do?
Primeval Foods is a cultivated meat company; the only difference is we’re working on exotic species, lions, tigers, zebras, and more different from other cultures. Ace Venture’s goal is to invest in early-stage companies in food and agriculture with social impacts such as plant-based proteins, clean labels, and nutritious alternatives to animal products. Yilmaz Bora, from Ace Ventures and CEO of Primeval Foods, has been using his business experience in his most recent venture Primeval Foods, which aims to produce non-invasive meats for people who want to eat wild game but do not want the blood or dirt that often come with it. It is the first startup in history that can cultivate lion meat. The company uses a technology called tissue engineering, where cells are grown into muscle tissue without actually raising animals for slaughter.
Are you ready to eat a lab-grown lion burger?
It isn’t easy to interpret what consumers desire, but Bora’s business strives to blend the novel with the recognizable, first presenting Authentic, modern-day lion burgers. Beef patties will be the first item we sell. Burgers are one of the most widely consumed foods in America, with an average daily consumption of 2.4 per person, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We strive to produce beef that is consistently succulent, flavorful, and exceptionally soft to make it taste fantastic.
It is something like venture capital, where people are always looking for the next big thing and want to be the first one there. You could say that investors need alternatives so severely that they can’t afford to believe in them. Animal life is worth saving, but only if we do not destroy our planet. As a vegan myself, I’m happy to know there are better options out there with new technologies being created every day.