Cell-based meat is a growing food product made from cells of animals instead of the whole animal. According to The Good Food Institute, cell-based beef can reduce land use by more than 95% and climate change emissions by up to 87%.
The industry is still in its very early stages but multiple companies are attracting the attention of private equity firms, according to Food Business News.
Mosa Meat is credited with being the first company to create a cell-based food product in 2013. A cultured hamburger patty was created around seven years ago at a cost of more than $278,000. The industry has progressed since then as the same product can be duplicated for around $100, according to FBN.
Companies operating in the cell-based space are seeing success in raising capital. The most recent and largest deal to date is California-based Memphis Meats who raised $161 million in a Series B round with participants including SoftBank Group (OTC: SFTBY).
"We are excited to welcome these investors into our Big Tent," said Uma Valeti, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats said in a press release.
"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."
Other smaller deals include BlueNalu, Future Meat Technologies, Finless Foods, Wild Type and Aleph Farms who each raised more than $10 million.
Why It's Important
Nate Crosser, a Good Food Institute business analyst, told FBN recent capital raises implies companies can expand their operation to scale their business. It also signals potential partnerships with their investors' portfolio companies.
"G.F.I. hopes and expects that this fundraising round will serve as the spark that ignites a Cambrian explosion in the industry — a shift from gradual to exponential change," Crosser also said.
Many companies have proven the science behind the new industry but the industry faces an even more difficult journey ahead, GlobalData food correspondent Andy Coyne told FBN. Specifically, companies will need to figure out how to transform a successful prototype into a market-ready product.
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