Berkeley’s Memphis Meat secured new funds from new and existing investors – The Biggest Investment In Cell-Based Meat History.
Memphis Meats, a Berkeley, California-based startup, which grows meat from animal cells, has disclosed a $161 million in a new round of financing from investors including Softbank Group, Norwest and Temasek.
Existing investors like Tyson Foods and Cargill participated in the round. Previous investors include individual and institutional investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures, Kimbal Musk, Fifty Years and CPT Capital.
“I am proud to invest once again in Memphis Meats, the world’s leading cell-based meat company. 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!”, said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group Ltd. The round brings Memphis Meats total funding to more than $180million. It also extends the company’s coalition to Asia, where the market is struggling to keep pace with the growing demand for meat.
The company has attracted the attention of other cell-based meat companies looking to gain regulatory approval and bring products to the market. Recently, Eat Just, Inc., an American food manufacturing company that produces plant-based foods, said that it plans to launch its first cell-based chicken nuggets in Asia, though no timeline or specific country has been announced.
Memphis meat is one of the leading cell-based meat, poultry and seafood companies attempting to source meat from animal cells rather than by slaughtering animals. The company claims that consumers won’t be able to tell the difference between cultured and traditional meat.
Memphis Meats will use the funds to build a pilot production facility, continue its world-class team, and to hit a major milestone of launching its first products into the market. They have not yet announced an official date for product launch and they are currently working with regulatory agencies to secure a timely and safe market entry.
Last March 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they plan to regulate the nascent industry together. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said: “there is currently no specific timeline for when the regulatory framework to oversee the production of cell-cultured products will be finalized”.
While no jurisdiction has approved of cell-based meat for consumption, regulators in Asia have shown interest in the prospect of growing large amounts of protein using little land.
By 2050, the demand for meat is expected to double and the traditional production method for meat can’t keep up with global demand. Cell-based meat addresses this issue while offering the colossal potential to improve the environment have a positive impact on food safety and animal welfare.