Dealflow | April 12, 2021

Investors commit $25 million to expand lab-grown foods

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 12 – Cellular meat is not just for burgers. Lab-grown food startups are now producing chicken, pork, steak, seafood and even fat.

California-based Mission Barns raised $24 million to cultivate animal fat for use in other lab-grown meat products and plant-based meat alternatives. A roster of investors including Lever VC, Humboldt Fund, Joyance Partners and Green Monday backed the company’s Series A round (see, “Green Monday raises $70 million to ramp up alt-protein in Asia”).

Wisconsin-based Cultured Decadence raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding to develop cell-cultured shellfish, such as lobster, crab, shrimp and scallops. Other lab-grown seafood ventures, like Singapore’s Shiok Meats and California’s Finless Foods, primarily focus on fish varieties. Joyance, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and China-based Dao Foods were among the Cultured’s backers. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation committed grant funding.

Early-stage investor Clear Current Capital launched a second fund to focus on companies in the U.S. developing plant-based, cell-cultured and fermented foods.

Go to market

In December, Eat Just introduced its cellular chicken nuggets to restaurant diners in Singapore—the only country that permits the sale of cellular meat products. Its product mixes lab-grown meat and plant-based proteins.

The Netherlands’ Mosa Meat raised fresh capital for 100% cellular meat products. Regulatory uncertainty means these products are at least a year or two from market.