Panning for Gold happens in a lab, not in a field
Although the concept of growing meat in a lab might have science fiction connotations it has quickly emerged as a trend for investors. This is not a surprise because the environmental concerns and the ethics surrounding conventional meat production are increasingly being questioned. Undoubtedly the huge increase in cattle globally cannot continue without profound harm to the planet.
According to The Economist in 2019:
The combined total of chickens (19 billion), cows (1.5 billion), sheep (1 billion) and pigs (1 billion) living at any one time is three times higher than the number of people.’
Vegans and vegetarians may well have eschewed (!) meat but ethical carnivores are jumping aboard lab cultivated meat to sate both their collective appetite and their conscience. New entrants are regularly joining this niche. Technology continues to evolve and companies such as New Age from the U.S. are turning their attention to consumers that love meat but want to see changes in sustainability and culture regarding meat production. According to PitchBook New Age Meat is venture capital-backed and its latest Series A has landed around $25million.
Photo: Kenneth Schipper Vera
Their modus operandi is to produce cell-cultured meat, using technology and their intention is to offer vegan-friendly alternative to conventional meat products. This technology develops meat from actual animal cells. This means there is no animal slaughter involved. New Age Meat state their product is more delicious, healthier, and also far more sustainable. This means consumers will receive the benefit of a clean environment and better human health with worldwide food security.
These are just some of the companies that have raised funds recently:
Eat Just has a post-money valuation of approximately $1,300 and make cultivated chicken and plant-based eggs. This U.S. company, with an HQ in San Francisco is the only commercialised meat product, experience selling plant-based protein.
US company, UPSIDE Foods have a $550 post- money valuation and concentrate on cultivated beef meatballs, chicken, and duck. Whereas.
Mosa Meat is based in The Netherlands and have a $165.0 post-money valuation. Their philosophy is to focus on cost reduction and to this end have been working on an animal free growth medium that create a cost improvement of more than 80 times that of their previous iteration. This enables them to create cultivated beef and fat.
Bluenaiu has a slightly different slant with their focus on cultivated seafood. The specialise in tuna and mahimahi and have been working on being a real outlier in this niche. At present their post stock is not available but they are certainly making positive headlines and gaining significant traction in the media.
Clara Foods is creating cultivate egg whites and have solved their scaling ambitions by partnering with AB Inbev
Meatable is another firm from The Netherlands and hailing from Delft. Their USP is based around more holistic meat production. That is they create muscle and connective tissues along with fat. Their production is purported to be quicker than other commercial outfits.
Future Meat is an Israeli company that works with fat production and cultivated chicken.
Mission Barns is also a U.S. cultivated fat producer.
Shlok Meats are busy with cultivated shrimp, lobster, and carp from their Singaporean base.
All these companies demonstrate that meat alternatives are performing well and 21st century panning for gold now happens in the lab not out in the field. This means there is a profound shift in careers available within the food industry. Highly complex roles are required in both the plant-based and cultivated industries and I have been busy recruiting in both. If I can help you find a Product Development Lead or specialists in cultivated meat, cellular agriculture, synthetic biology, cellular aquaculture, and 3-D technology then please do give me a call.
On the other hand if you are looking for more up to the minute information about plant based companies, please click on the link in comments for a free copy of my latest book exploring why investors are also attracted to the plant-based sector.