With meat alternatives an increasingly popular sector at the moment, Future Meat Technologies announced it has closed a $14 million Series-A Funding Round, led by S2G Ventures and Emerald Technology Ventures, a Swiss-based venture capital firm. The primary financiers were joined by investors Henry Soesanto, the CEO of Monde Nissin, one of the largest producers of meat alternatives, Manta Ray Ventures, a UK-based venture capital firm, along with Bits x Bites, a Chinese food and AgTech VC.
Founded in 2018, Future Meat Technologies is pioneering the cost-efficient, GMO-free production of meat directly from animal cells, without the need to raise or harvest animals. The company has a highly sustainable manufacturing model resulting in 99% less land use and 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional meat. Funding will be used to expand R&D efforts and build the world’s first cultured meat pilot production facility, estimated to begin operations in 2020, south of Tel Aviv.
“With this investment, we’re thrilled to bring cultured meat from the lab to the factory floor and begin working with our industrial partners to bring our product to market,” said Rom Kshuk, CEO of Future Meat Technologies. “We’re not only developing a global network of investors and advisors with expertise across the meat and ingredient supply chains, but also providing the company with sufficient runway to achieve commercially viable production costs within the next two years.”
Future Meat Technologies’ groundbreaking process utilizes the rapid growth of connective tissue cells, called fibroblasts, to reach high densities before turning the cells to cultured muscle and healthy fats. The company aims to introduce hybrid products – combining plant proteins for texture and cultured fats that create the distinct aroma and flavor of meat. With current small-scale production costs of $150 per pound of chicken and $200 per pound of beef, Future Meat Technologies plans to release its hybrid products at a competitive cost level from its pilot production facility by 2021 and launch a second line of 100% cultured meat products at a cost of less than $10 per pound by 2022.
The raise announced by Future Meats came two days after Aleph Meat announced it had produced meat on the International Space Station, for the first time. Aleph Meats utilized 3D printing technology to literally print meat. The announcement by Future Meats was widely covered by the international news media, and that together with the worldwide realization of the environmental impact of our current method of meat production has increased interest in the many alternative methods of producing meat.