Cell-based meat company Memphis Meats has secured $161 million in a Series B funding round as it aims to bring its products to consumers.
The announcement marks the largest funding round in the cell-based meat industry to date.
With its funding, Memphis Meats intends to build a pilot production facility to launch its products into the market.
Currently, Memphis Meats produces chicken, beef and duck from animal cells. It grows the meat in tanks by feeding sugar, oxygen and nutrients to living cells.
The round was led by SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek. Also joining the round were new and existing investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures and CPT Capital.
Said Priti Youssef Choksi, partner at Norwest Venture Partners, said: “The reality is that conventional production methods for meat can’t keep up with global demand, which is expected to double by 2050.
“Cell-based meat addresses this issue while offering enormous potential to improve the environment and have a positive impact on food safety and animal welfare. Memphis Meats is on a mission to serve up real meat without the compromise.”
In total, the company has raised more than $180 million. In 2018, Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, invested in the food tech start-up, following the completion of a $17 million fundraising round the year before, which included investment from Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Cargill.
“I am proud to invest once again in Memphis Meats, the world’s leading cell-based meat company. In the next few decades I believe that cell-based meat will become a major part of our global meat supply. I cannot wait for that day!” said investor Richard Branson.
According to the California-based company, the round extends the Memphis Meats coalition to Asia, which is a strategically valuable market for cell-based meat and faces significant challenges in meeting growing demand for meat.
Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats, said: “Memphis Meats is revolutionising how meat is brought to every table around the world. We are providing compelling and delicious choices by producing real meat from animal cells, its natural building blocks.
“Cell-based meat is poised to dramatically expand humanity’s capacity to feed a growing global population while preserving our culinary traditions and protecting our planet.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019