FoodSustainability

Memphis Meats raises $161 million to bring cell-based meat products to consumers

It's the largest funding round in the cellular agriculture industry.

Memphis Meats, the leading cell-based meat, poultry and seafood company, closed an impressive $161 million funding round. This is the largest funding moment in the history of the cellular agriculture industry, and will enable Memphis Meats to finally bring its products to consumers. In total, the company has raised more than $180 million.

While cellular agriculture and cell-based meat products are not directly linked with additive manufacturing, 3dpbm believes that cellular agriculture companies will become key material providers for the future digital food industry and that bioprinting (and other 3D printing) technologies will provide key manufacturing methods to improve the appearance and composition of future cell-based meat products.

cell-based meat

“We are excited to welcome these investors into our Big Tent,” said Uma Valeti, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. “Memphis Meats is revolutionizing 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.”

Memphis Meats will expectedly use the funds to build a pilot production facility and continue to grow its human resources team. The company has not yet announced a date for product launch, and is working with regulatory agencies to ensure a timely and safe market entry.

The Series B round is led by SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek. Also joining the round are new and existing investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures, Kimbal Musk, Fifty Years, CPT Capital, KBW Ventures and Vulcan Capital. This 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.

cell-based meat

“I am proud to invest once again in Memphis Meats, the world’s leading cell-based meat company,” said Branson. 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!” Several other important food industry figures, including Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team, Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO, North American Meat Institute, Anne Veneman, former US Secretary of Agriculture, former executive director of UNICEF, Memphis Meats advisor, and Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director, Good Food Institute all expressed optimism for the future of the company and the benefits its products can bring to global sustainability.

Based in Berkeley, CA, Memphis Meats is developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells, without the need to breed or slaughter animals. The company released the world’s first cell-based meatball in February 2016 and the world’s first cell-based poultry in March 2017. It aims to bring to the market delicious, real meat that is significantly better for the environment, animals and public health, while claiming a share of the $1.4 trillion global market for meat.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst for leading US-firm SmarTech Analysis, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he Co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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