Start-up Future Meat Technologies, located in Rehovot, Israel, has completed a Series B fundraiser of $ 347 million (approximately € 307 million). The roundtable was led by ADM Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of the human and animal nutrition giant, as well as a technology investor whose identity has not been disclosed. The pension fund Menora Mivtachim, S2G Ventures, Tyson Venture, Rich Products Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, ADM Capital and Bits x Bites also participated.
Set up a factory in the United States
For this young growth at the origin of a technology to manufacture laboratory meat (also called clean meat), the goal is to install its first large-scale production plant in the United States in 2022. It already has a first production line located in Israel opened a few months ago.
Along with the new financing, the company announced that it is now producing chicken breast for $ 7.70 for 500 grams, or $ 1.70 for 110 grams, compared to almost $ 18 for 500 grams six months earlier. This cost reduction was originally expected in 18 months, as announced in May 2021 by the former CEO of the company, Rom Kshuk.
Nestlé joins forces with Future Meat Technologies
Future Meat Technologies was founded in 2018 and has developed a process to produce non-GMO artificial meat from animal cells. Using his technology, he managed to create beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. A diversity of products that is of special interest to Nestlé, whose subsidiary dedicated to research and development has signed an alliance with this young growth. Their goal is to “understand the potential” of laboratory meat, explained Reinhard Behringer, director of the Nestlé Institute for Materials Sciences.
Several startups are in the race to industrialize their artificial meat manufacturing process. The Dutch company Mosa Meat prefers to focus on gourmet restaurants before tackling mass distribution. Aleph Farms, also based in Rehovot, recently joined forces with the German chemical group Wacker to industrialize the production of proteins needed for the artificial meat growing medium. These represent “one of the most prohibitive expenses” to industrialize manufacturing because they are not available on the market in sufficient quantity.
A market of 140 billion dollars in 10 years
The artificial meat market is expected to reach $ 140 billion in 10 years, according to forecasts by Blue Horizon Corporation, a company that invests heavily in alternative proteins. But it will also be necessary to convince people to integrate this substitute into their daily diet in addition to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Singapore was the first country to allow its sale. Currently, such an authorization seems unthinkable in France, according to the declarations of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Julien Denormandie. “Count on me so that in France, meat remains natural and never artificial!” He wrote on Twitter in December 2020.
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