Cultured meat startup Meatable raises US$47M to fund growth amid rising demand for animal-free products

NETHERLANDS – Dutch food company, Meatable now has the opportunity to advance small-scale production at the Biotech Campus Delft and to diversify its product portfolio.

This is after a successful Series A round that saw the company raise US$47 million from a consortium of life sciences and food investors.

The investors included Section 32, , whose founder was the first CEO of Google Ventures, and DSM Venturing, the corporate venture arm of Royal DSM.

The round, according to the company, brings the total amount collected so far to US$60 million and will be used to fund the company’s next growth phase.

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Meatable unveiled its first pork product last year and claims its cell-based meat technology known as  opti-ox is adaptable to any species including cows, pigs, sheep and fish.

Cultured meat is gaining momentum as consumers place greater importance on the impact the foods they eat have on the environment and animal welfare.

Several startups have been working in the space for many years to grow animal tissue in a lab that has the same look, taste and texture as conventional animal protein.

Mosa Meat was the first to create a cell-based hamburger in 2013. 8 years later, the field has become increasingly crowded with startups such as  Aleph Farms, Memphis Meats, Future Meat Technologies, and Eat Just also trying to create muscle cuts in the lab.

As more companies join the field, consumer interest has also started growing with nearly 7 in 10 U.S. consumers saying they would be willing to substitute cell-based chicken for the animal-based meat, according a survey conducted by Eat Just.

Of the consumers who were willing to buy cell-based chicken and beef, the largest group — 21% for each — said their top reason for purchasing it would be because it’s made without killing animals.

The next highest response — 19% of chicken buyers and 17% of beef buyers — said it was because it was a healthy product.

Sustainability was further down the list, with 12% of chicken buyers and 11% of beef buyers giving that as their top reason.

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Investors are seeing promise too, pouring US$3.1 billion into alternative protein opportunities during 2020 alone, according to The Good Food Institute.

A few key developments reflecting the approaching maturity of the cultured protein industry include Singapore’s recent regulatory approval of Eat Just’s cultured chicken.

The advancement in cell-based meat and the willingness of consumers to try it out may also mean meat companies have something to worry about.

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