Geltor Partners with K-Beauty Guru On New Vegan Collagen Products

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Geltor has announced the upcoming release of a product range developed in collaboration with collagen aficionado and K-Beauty influencer Sally Olivia Kim. Kim was appointed Geltor’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence in October. As yet, little is known about the product range.

While California-based Geltor has not explicitly revealed what it has been working on with Kim, ingestible plant-based collagen seems likely, given that the beauty founder already has a line of such products, Crushed Tonic, which features marine-based collagen and is sold in Sephora and through Anthropologie.

Two paths, one destination 

Seoul-born Kim is a respected beauty guru thanks to her range of ingestible skincare products. Discovering the benefits of collagen after suffering a severe burn, she developed a range of drinks infused with her favourite ‘wonder’ ingredient. 

The success of the Crushed Tonic range led to a book release as well, firmly establishing Kim as an expert in the field of collagen benefits, something she wanted to share with the vegan community.

“I had been searching high and low for a truly vegan collagen option – there are so many products out there that claim to be vegan, but animal protein inherently cannot be vegan, of course,” she said in a statement. “So when I discovered Geltor’s technology in fermenting proteins to create this beautifully effective and sustainable real animal-free collagen, I knew that there was something incredibly special here.”

Sally Olivia Kim is an ardent believer in the benefits of collagen. Image courtesy of Sally Olivia Kim.

Geltor has been making progress in the field of precision fermented plant-based collagen since 2020. Having secured $91.3 million in a Series B funding round, it has developed “designer proteins” that can act as ingredients in a range of consumer goods. Crucially, they could be used in beauty. 

Earlier this year, Geltor unveiled PrimaColl, claiming it to be the world’s first vegan collagen that can be used in food products and cosmetics. It is an exact replica of Type 21 collagen that is derived from animals, but has been proven to offer health benefits, especially within an anti-aging framework. In addition to PrimaColl, Geltor has also released HumaColl21 and Collume. Now, the same youth-enhancing technology appears to have been used to produce a specific line with Kim.

“There is no one better than Sally, who comes well-versed in the value that proteins like collagen are already bringing to industries like beauty and personal care and food and nutrition, to help tell Geltor’s story of how biodesign is changing the game,” said Geltor’s CEO and co-founder, Alex Lorestani. He continued: “The collaboration is a natural fit and we can’t wait to unveil this first product we’re launching together.”

Image courtesy of Pexels.

A young industry

Vegan collagen is a niche market but one that has a number of startups revealing progress. North Carolina-based Jellatech announced a $2 million pre-seed round earlier this year for the continued development of animal-free collagen and gelatin. Aimed squarely at supplying the F&B, medical and beauty industries, the products are cell-cultured. 

Similarly, Hong Kong’s Avant Meats launched Zellulin alongside its cell-cultured seafood ranges. The product is designed to usurp collagen use across cosmeceutical applications.


Lead image courtesy of Geltor.

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