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.
“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.
“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.