USA – News that cell-based meat startup Memphis Meats has attracted $161 million in funding is big news for the segment and big news for the future of food. The company is on a mission to produce ‘delicious, healthy meat’ by ‘harvesting it from cells instead of animals’. And the strength of its technology and prospects has attracted record-breaking Series B backing from SoftBank, Temasek and Norwest.
Reacting to the announcement, Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of The Good Food Institute, said: “Memphis Meats just more than doubled the total amount invested in all of human history on cultivated meat. Before today, the total invested in cultivated meat companies was $155 million. For the entire industry, an investment of this size strengthens confidence that this technology is here today rather than some far-off future endeavor. Once there is a “proof of concept” for cultivated meat–a commercially available product at a reasonable price point–this should accelerate interest and investment in the industry.”
The money will allow Memphis Meats to build a pilot production facility and cut the cost of producing its cell-based meats.
“This is still an industry that has sprung up almost overnight and it’s important to keep a sense of perspective here. While the idea of cultivated meat has been percolating for close to a century, the very first prototype was only produced six years ago,” added Bruce. “While private investments in cultivated meat are essential, they need to be supported by public funding in order to sustain the industry moving forward. There is just too much innovation required for a single company or even a handful of companies. After all, the entire industry stands on the shoulders of the stem cell and biopharmaceutical fields that came before it, which are fueled by decades of both public and private investments. Public funds can also provide training, fuel talent, and lower the barrier to entry for new companies and research groups.”