Descriptions, investors, valuation, and what makes them unique.
Our current agricultural methods (specifically towards cultivating meat) to feed the world are insanely inefficient: they require massive amounts of energy and are unsustainable.
By 2030, there will be around 10 billion people on this Earth. By 2028, global consumption of beef is to reach 72.5 million tons. Pork: 130.8 millin tons, and chicken: 116.1 million tons.
Lots of people = Lots of food need = a lot of water, energy, and carbon dioxide emission to create meat (preferred food of choice). This isn’t sustainable for our planet.
Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to ask the world to go vegan. Cultures, countries, religions, and our tastebuds love meat too much. So instead of trying to change human behaviour, over the past 10 years scientists have developed a way to adjust to it through cellular agriculture: a method to grow meat in a lab.
Crazily enough, Winston Churchill actually predicted this in 1931:
We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.– Winston Churchill
He predicted that we’d be eating lab grown meat before the 21st century began. He was wrong, but not entirely — we’ll be eating it soon enough. There are many companies who have already created edible (and tasty!) lab grown meats. And they’re aiming to take it to market over the next 3 years.
Here are some that will soon deliver food to your plate:
Memphis Meats 🇺🇸 Berkeley, California
In 2016, Memphis Meats created the world’s first cell-based meatball (for $1200!). In 2017, they created the first cell-based poultry. They’ve been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc, Bloomberg and NBC.
They’ve raised $17 million in their Series A funding round, and have been invested in by Bill Gates, Richard Branson, DFJ, Cargill Inc and Tyson Foods. As of July 2018, they have a team of 38 employees.
Apparently they have also validated a cultivating method that does not use any *serum at all.
*Serums such as fetal-bovine serum are one of the largest costs to scaling lab-grown meat. If a company figures out how to mass-produce edible and tasty meat without this large cost, I would bet they’d be the first to hit the consumer market.
JUST 🇺🇸 San Francisco, California (mayo, eggs, and wagyu)
JUST is one of the most commonly known companies in the cellular agriculture space. Specifically for their plant-based mayo, and egg products that’re already being sold in North America. Including scrambled egg liquids, and $50 chicken nuggets (not being sold yet).
They’ve also partnered with Toriyama (a Wagyu producer) to develop & sell Wagyu products — although, not much information has been released on this since the partnership struck in 2016.
According to Crunchbase, their last funding round was a Series D and they’ve raised $220 million in funding so far.
Integriculture 🇯🇵 Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Integriculture made the first lab-grown foie gras in 2017, where each cell was cultured at a price less than ~$95 USD per 100g. That year they won Singularity University’s “Global Impact Challenge” as a result. Since then, they have driven the price down even further by using a medium different than FBS (fetal bovine serum) in their “CulNet System”. They’re unique for this system, which has been claimed to easily allow for scale through parallelization and upsizing.
They have developed a food-grade basal medium that replaces all ingredients with food and registered food additives. In October 2019, they developed a slaughter-free extraction method of fetal avian cells. Another of their other interesting projects is SpaceSalt, a powdered version of cell media which will allow people to grow their own meat at home.
They financed JPY 300 million (~2.8m USD) in their seed round, which was led by Real Tech Fund. Other investors include Beyond Next Ventures, A-FIVE, Cargill Inc (also investing in Memphis Meats) and Dr. Hiroaki Kitano.
They plan to launch lab-grown foie gras in restaurants in 2021 and retail stores in 2023.
Cubiq Foods 🇪🇸 Valencia, Barcelona
Cubiq foods is one of the only companies working on developing lab-grown fat. Fat is an essential component of conventional meat that gives it it’s taste. The lack of fat in lab-grown meat is what many point to as the distinction between animal vs lab grown foods.
Growing fat cells as a stand-alone is also easier than creating muscle cells, because fat cells require less processes’: no scaffolding, mechanical stimulation, or even oxygen needed.
They have closed an investment round having raised $13.6 million. This was led by Javier Loziaga. They plan on using the investment to expand their pilot plant and scale production, the other half will go towards their operations.
One of the unique things they do is use embryonic stem cells that divide indefinitely (unlike mesenchymal stem cells which are more commonly used).
Mission Barns🇺🇸 Berkeley, California
Like Cubiq Foods, Mission Barns is also developing fat: specifically duck, chicken, and pork fat.
There isn’t much information on them online, but something interesting to note is their team: Eiten Fischer who incorporated the company was previously the director of cell ag. at JUST.
Future Meat Technologies 🇮🇱 Israel
FMT is one of the only companies that directly states their meat is grown using bioreactors: a scalable way of producing lab grown meat that most labs may not have yet adopted. Their bioreactors allow them to reduce the volume of feed media used by 20-folds.
Their cells double in mass every 24 hours, and their production process lasts only 2 weeks.
They’ve raised $14 million in their Series A fund, which was co-led by S2G Ventures and Emerald Technology Ventures. Other investors include MOnde Nissin, Tyson Ventures (who also invest in Memphis Meat), Bits x Bites, and Manta Ray Ventures.
They’re currently running a pilot plant where they’re creating a plant based-protein and cell-cultured fat product that is cost competitive. FMT expects to launch it in 2021, and in 2022 is aiming to launch a line of 100% cell-based meat products that cost less than $10 per pound.
Perfect Day 🇺🇸 Berkeley, California (dairy only, not meat)
PD is focused on creating lab grown daily — they’ve already launched a product in a pilot launch, which is animal-free dairy icecream for $20 per pint.
They’ve raised $34.75 million in their Series B funding, led by Temasek Holdings, and includes Horizon Ventures + ADM Capital.
They’ve raised $140 million in their Series C Funding round.
Aleph Farms 🇮🇱 Israel
AlephFarms made history in December 2018 by producing the first cell-grown beef steak. They also grew the first piece of cell-based meat in outer space (whaaat 🤯) on the ISS, 249 miles above Earth 🚀.
They raised $12 million in their Series A funding which was led by VisVires New Protein (VC based in Singapore). Other investors included Cargill, M-Industry of migros, Strauss Group, New Corp Captial, and the Technion Investment Opportunity Fund.
Mosa Meats 🇳🇱 Maastricht, Netherlands
Mosa Meats is known for unveiling the world’s first cell-ag hamburger in 2013.
Publicly, they’ve raised around $8.3 million USD for their Series A, and $9m last year. One of their investors includes Google’s Sergey Brin. The main use for their funding was to reduce the cost of their production. The original hamburger patty cost $325k to produce, which now costs only $10 and aims to have a cost as low as $3.
Progress since 2013 includes adding fat tissue into their meat, replacing FBS with another growth serum, improving the meat’s protein content via increased production of myoglobin, and using bioreactors for scalability.
They are aiming to have their product hit market by 2021, which at the moment only includes ground meat.
They’ve also partnered with M Ventures (VC arm of Merck, the pharmaceutical company), and Bell Food Group (leading meat processor and convenience specialist in Europe).
Meatable: 🇳🇱 Leiden, Netherlands
One of the interesting things Meatable is doing is using pluripotent stem cells (which don’t require a growth serum) from an animal’s umbilical cord, instead of regular myosatellite cells (with FBS) to grow their meat. Most cell-ag companies don’t use this method because pluripotent cells are harder to control in a lab, yet Meatable has figured out a way to get around this.
The advantage to this isn’t just A) not needing to use a growth serum such as FBS, and in turn B) killing a cow, but also that they can direct the growth of the stem cells into any cells: including fat!
They’ve raised $3.5 million in their first round of funding led by BlueYard Capital, and other investors including Atlantic Food Labs, BackedVC, Future Positive Cpaital, and other angel investors. An additional $10 million has also been raised (including a $3 million grant from the European Commission).
Their small bioreactor they’re creating should be ready by end of 2020, on timeline to manufacturing large-scale amounts of meat by 2025. They will start off by producing beef products, than moving on to other chicken and pork products.
Biftek 🇹🇷 Gölbaşı, Ankara (Turkey)
Biftek is directly working on a replacement serum for FBS. They’ve found a plant-based version made up of 44 proteins for myosatellite cells. They’ve mentioned in a pitch at the Sweden FoodTech conference that the cost of this new serum will only contribute to 0.2% of total costs.
They are projecting that with the production of $6–8 million tonnes of meat, their annual revenue will be $340 million.
Higher Steaks 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
Higher Steaks is under the radar — there isn’t much online about what they do and how they do it (other than being focused on cellular agriculture, and using pluripotent cells instead of myosatellite cells + fbs). However, they’ve received mentions in many media outlets (including Forbes, Tech Crunch etc) that makes me think we might be hearing more from them in the next few years.
Some articles state they’re focusing on lab grown beef, while others mention their focus is on lab grown pork sausages.
There are not many companies working on just lab-grown meat. A few of the ones mentioned in the other sections will produce another meat andthen chicken as a lower priority product.
One of the main reasons for this is the environmental damage of producing chicken is not as detrimental as the one for producing beef, which is also more consumed.
SuperMeat 🇮🇱 Israel
China has signed a deal with Israel to import lab-grown meat from three different companies, including SuperMeat.
They’ve raised $3 million in their seed round, led by New Crop Capital (also investing in BlueNalu) and Stray Dog Capital, and a strategic partnership with PHW (one of Europe’s largest poultry producers). They’re also being supported by Good Food Institute.
They’ve crowdfunded funds through Indiegogo as well, with a few updates on their progress. Although, the progress hasn’t been very descriptive and they seem to be in super-stealth mode, which suggest they’re in a very R&D phase.
Clara Foods 🇺🇸 San Francisco, California (not lab-grown chicken meat)
Clara Foods is producing a range of animal products including: animal-free egg white proteins, baking products, food & beverage ingredients, and nutritional supplements. They are less of a lab-grow meat company as their process includes fermentation of yeast and sugar.
They’ve raised $15 million in 2016 for their Series A financing, and have also raised a Series B led by Ingredion (global ingredients distribute for over 120 countries). Other investors include B37 (the strategic partner for Grupo Bimbo), Hemisphere Ventures, and SOSVS.
BlueNalu 🇺🇸 San Diego, California
BlueNalu has made cell-based yellowfish which cooks, steams, and deep-fries as expected. They are working with cell-lines for tuna, red snapper, and amberjack as well, with a likelihood of launching to market with mahi mahi. By the end of 2020 they’re expecting to be 500–1000 liter bioreactor size to support their small-size initial test market of restaurants. They have also unveiled plans to build a 150k sq. ft. facility to produce 18 million lbs of seafood every year, starting in 2025.
They’re the founding member of a cell-based industry group called the “Alliance for Meat, Poultry & Seafood Innovation”, working on cell-ag regulation policies.
They’ve raised $24.5 million led by Stray Dog Capital, CPT Capital, New Crop Capital, and Clear Current Capital. Other investors include Griffith Foods, Nutreco, Pulmuone, Rich Product Ventures, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.
Fun fact: they were only founded 2 years ago, so since then they’ve really been busy and have made a lot of notable progress.
Finless Foods 🇺🇸 Bay Area, California
Finless Food has been the first company to create lab-grown fish (history made in 2017!).
They’re currently focusing on growing blue-fin tuna, which has a very difficult sourcing process. Blue-fin tuna travel at a speed of 40 miles(64 km)/hour, die on ships fast (and their cells decompose easily).
Once they’ve had their sample, the team has figured out how to make their blue-fin tuna cell lines immortal, which means you do not need further fish samples to keep the cells growing.
Another unique discovery is they’ve figured out how to grow 3 different tissues from bluefin stem cells: muscle, fat, and connective tissue. My guess is that this is done via pluripotent stem cells.
FF has also separated their teams to identify which bioreactor process’ are best for scale, and so far have found that the most efficient way to grow meat is via single systems, where proliferation happens in one bioreactor and the growth media is replaced by differentiation media.
They’ve raised $3.5m in their seed round from investors including Harrison Blue Ventures, Hemisphere Ventures, StarLight Media, and Olive Tree Capital. They are now gearing up to raise a Series A.
The Finless folks have figured out how to grow threekinds of tissues from bluefin stem cells: muscle, fat and connective tissue. They even claim they can manipulate the amount of fat to mimic the lush flavor of otoro tuna.
Avant Meats 🇨🇳 Hong Kong, China
Avant Meats is focused on creating lab-grown high-end luxury food items. In 2019 they showcased the first ever cell-based fish maw product (dried swim bladder). They’ve already had a public tasting of maw.
Their funding is private: including contributions from the co-founders, and a small pre-seed round from 2 VCs, and one family.
In addition to personal contributions from the co-founders, we have raised a small pre-seed round with support from two VCs and one family office. We will be able to share more details later.
They’re aiming to reach pilot production by late 2022 or early 2023.
Shiok Meats🇸🇬 Singapore
Shiok Meats created the first lab-grown shrimp dumpling. They’re the first cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia, and also part of the Y Combinator winter class of 2019.
They’ve raised $4.6m in their seed round. This round was led by Monde Nissin, which is a food consumer-goods company in the Philippines. Other investors include Big Idea Ventures, Aera VC, Beyond Impact, and Boom Campital.
Wild Type 🇺🇸 San Francisco, California
Wild Type has showcased the first ever cell based salmon dinner in Portland, in which a single salmon roll cost $200 to produce.
They’ve raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. This round was led by CRV, and other investors include Maven Ventures, Spark Capital, and Root Ventures.
Most companies are focusing on either lab grown beef, chicken, or seafood. Other companies working on producing lab grown pork are in the “All” section above.
New Age Meats 🇺🇸 Berkeley, California
NAM showcased the first ever cell-based pork sausage, just after 2 months of being founded.
They haven’t announced their funding yet, but have been invested $700k into by Agronomics. Via Crunchbase, they’ve also raised $5.7M in three funding rounds.
In America, 25% (!!!!) of all meat sold in the country is consumer by dogs and cats.
It’s straight up raining dogs and cats worth of energy waste!
If all Americans stopped eating meat, America would be the fifth most meat-consuming nation in the world.Solely because of pet-meat consumption.
Bond Pet Foods 🇺🇸 Boulder, Colorado
Bond Pets is aiming to launch their first product in 2020: a yeast dog-treat bar (yum?). Their process is known as acellular agriculture, which is the process of growing and processing the products cell cultures make, instead of growing the cultures themselves.
They’ve raised $1.2 million in their seed round, which was led by Lever VC. Other investors include Agronomics, KBW Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, and Andante Asset Management.
Wild Earth 🇺🇸 Berkeley, California
Wild Earth isn’t really a lab-grown meat company, but I’m throwing them in here anyways.
They’ve developed a fungi-based (koji) protein based dog foods and treats. They’ve raised $11 million in Series A funding, including $550,00 from Mark Cuban via Shark Tank. The funding round was led by VegInvest, and other investors include Radical Investments, Felicis Ventures, Founders Fund, Mars Petcare, and BitsxBites.
Their total funding include seed round is $16 million.
Because Animals 🇺🇸 Delaware
Because Animals was the first company to create lab-grown-meat pet food (field mouse meat) without the animal, including a growth serum/growing process that does not include FBS.
BA uses unfermented cultured products such as nutritional yeast in their pet food. They currently sell superfood and probiotic supplements made from algae, for dogs, and are releasing lab-grown meat pet food in 2021.
Their funding rounds are undisclosed.
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