NETHERLANDS – Meatable, an Amsterdam-based cultivated meat startup has raised an additional US$10 million (€9m) in seed funding to support the development of the company’s first pork prototype.

The funding was led by BlueYard Capital an counted other investors including the Eurostars Programme of the European Commission, Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures and Taavel Hinrikus, founder of the European unicorn TransferWise.

The new funding brings total funding to US$13m. Meatable is developing a technology of cultivating meat from a single animal cell called opti-ox technology in collaboration with Bit Bio Ltd.

Opti-ox will be used for forward programming on induced stem cells to muscle cells which the start-up is aiming to deliver at scale cultivated meat that looks, tastes and has the nutritional profile of real meat.

“This new funding will enable us to expand our scaling and cost reduction teams and to accelerate development of our first prototype,” said Meatable co-founder and CEO Krijin de Nood, which he expects to be available in summer 2020.

“We believe no one should have to give up the meat they love – there is a way to satisfy the world’s appetite for meat without harming people, animals or the planet.”

Philippe Vanrie of Eurostars Programme said: “Meatable was assessed by an international independent evaluation panel and granted a Eureka label; reserved for projects that demonstrate the potential of excellent, high impact and efficient and effective implementation.”

 “We are delighted that Meatable, a dynamic start-up in the cultivated meat sector, has the potential to develop a unique and innovative technology thanks to support received from the Eurostars Programme.

“We understand the technology developed will have a significant and positive impact on meat production and, in turn, on climate change.”

While other companies taking animals out of meat production work with animal stem cells that are already destined to become muscle or fat cells, Meatable works with early-stage stem cells that have the potential to become any type of cell.

de Nood explains that the advantage of using the early-stage stem cells is that they multiplicate faster and indefinitely. “With these stem cells we can create large quantities of cells with unprecedented consistency,” he adds.

Bit Bio’s CEO Mark Kotter further explained: “Reprogramming has traditionally been inefficient, with low cell yields. To overcome this hurdle, we have developed a gene engineering approach called opti-ox.

 “Applied to cellular reprogramming, it enables precise reprogramming of entire cultures of stem cells into any desired cell type.” Bit Bio has managed to produce muscle cells and neurons with its technology.