London-based Hoxton Farms has raised $22 million in a Series A funding round led by Collaborative Fund, an early backer of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, and venture capital fund Fine Structure Ventures.
The investment will be used to build a 13,000-square-foot pilot facility in Shoreditch, London, capable of producing cultivated animal fat.
Sophie Bakalar, partner at Collaborative Fund, commented: “These brands have done a phenomenal job delivering on the protein side of the equation, but we still need a breakthrough in fat to compete with conventional meat on taste, texture, health and cost.”
She added: “We’re convinced that Hoxton Farms is the company that will deliver on that promise”.
Hoxton Farms seeks to address the issue of carbon-intensive foods by producing animal fat from stem cells to be used in cooking. According to the company, cultivated fat will revolutionise how meat alternatives look, cook and taste, making them more realistic and versatile.
Speaking of the cultivated animal fat, co-founder of Hoxton Farms, Max Jamilly, said: “Fat is the single most important sensory component in all of the meat that we eat. Using cultivated fat alongside plant proteins, we have shown that we can make products with the juiciness and flavour that plant-based meat has been missing.”
Hoxton Farms will sell the cultivated fat as a B2B ingredient for meat alternatives. Cultivated in bioreactors, the fat is then used by customers to combine with plant-based protein, bringing together cell-cultured and plant-based products. The result is a blended meat alternative that provides the realistic taste and texture of meat, but at a fairer price and with a reduced environmental impact.
Ed Steele, co-founder of Hoxton Farms, said: “Traditional methods for commercial cell culture are based on building larger and larger bioreactors. This approach makes sense for the pharmaceutical industry but it’s no match for the vast scales and low costs needed to produce food.”
He continued: “Instead, Hoxton Farms has built a ‘scaled out’ approach using many smaller bioreactors connected through software and automation. The team has proven that this dramatically lowers the cost of producing commercial-scale cultivated fat.”
In addition to its pilot facility, the funding will enable Hoxton Farms to further develop its customer partnerships to demonstrate its cultivated fat in products and improve the cost of growing cultivated fat at scale.
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