Memphis Meats – the ‘clean meat’ company that has already produced beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells, removing the need to raise and slaughter animals – has gained the support of a groundbreaking group of investors.
The company’s $17m fundraising round – led by DJF, the venture capital firm that backed Tesla, SpaceX and Skype – marks the first public commitment to the clean meat movement by top venture investors and meat industry leaders.
They have united with mission-driven groups to back the San Francisco Bay company, which plans to bring clean meat products to consumers across the world.
‘We’re going to bring meat to the plate in a more sustainable, affordable and delicious way. The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions. Meat demand is growing rapidly around the world. We want the world to keep eating what it loves. However, the way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health. These are problems that everyone wants to solve, and we can solve them by bringing this incredible group of partners under one tent. This group will help us accelerate our progress significantly.’
UMA VALETI, M.D.
Co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats
Cargill and other food industry giants joined Bill Gates and Richard Branson as investors in Memphis Meats, and their backing means the company has now raised $22m to date.
Memphis Meats plans to use the funds to ‘continue developing delicious products’, to accelerate its work in scaling up clean meat production and to reduce production costs to levels comparable with – and ultimately below – conventional meat costs.
The company expects to quadruple its headcount, and has already started growing its team of chefs, scientists, creatives and business people.
‘Clean meat is an enormous technological shift for humanity, and an opportunity to invest in something so important does not come along often. This is a moment where the investment potential and the potential to do good for the world are both off the charts. Investors have been watching this space for years, and Memphis Meats has emerged as the clear leader. It is thrilling to watch the team work, and to try the products, which the entire DFJ team agreed are the real thing. I am so excited for the future that Memphis Meats will create.’
Memphis Meats is developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells, meaning there’s no need to breed or slaughter animals. It released the world’s first clean meatball in February 2016 and the world’s first clean poultry in March 2017.
The company 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 near-trillion dollar global market for meat.
‘This is a momentous occasion for anyone who wants to see a food system that is safe, good for the planet and animals, and completely satisfying to consumers. Memphis Meats is doing amazing work to make this vision a reality. We are excited to welcome a meat industry leader into the fold, and I believe they have enormous potential to support and accelerate this work. For animal welfare and environmental advocates, today is a huge step forward.’
Executive director of the Good Food Institute
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