GOOD Meat, the cellular ag division of US alt-protein startup Eat Just, has raised $170 million in funding just months after its chicken bites became the first cell-cultured meat product in the world to secure regulatory clearance for sale to consumers.
The investment came from funds managed by UBS O’Connor — an asset management unit of Switzerland’s UBS — as well as VC firms including the US’s Graphene Ventures and Singapore’s K3 Ventures. Other investors participated in the round but were not disclosed.
In a statement, San Francisco-based Eat Just said that GOOD Meat will become its subsidiary as a result of the transaction.
“This deal is changing the future in terms of how humanity is fed,” said Graphene Ventures founder and managing partner Nabil Borhanu.
“Eat Just has led and dominated the plant-based egg category with its JUST Egg products, and with all the efforts made, we’re confident that GOOD Meat will lead the cultured meat category – starting with the $193 billion chicken market. For us, this is not only about meat, it’s about fueling the growth of planet-friendly food alternatives that can feed a rapidly changing world.”
How will GOOD Meat spend its $170 million? To find out, read AFN’s interview with Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick here
Last November, Eat Just made history when it became the first company in the world to get regulatory approval to serve a cell-cultured meat product. Singaporean regulators okayed its GOOD Meat cultivated chicken for sale to consumers in the city-state, and the startup went on to become the first company ever to offer a cell-based meat product in a restaurant – as well as the first to offer dishes prepared with cell-based meat for home delivery.
Eat Just itself secured $200 million in funding in March this year, with Qatari sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, leading the round. Private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital – the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen – also participated.
In an interview with AFN‘s Future Food podcast at the time of that investment, Eat Just founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said the startup’s approach to growing the GOOD Meat business is “to run as fast as we can.”
“This will begin in Singapore where we’re scaling up from the restaurant we’re at today to five, to 10, to 1,000, then move to the US, China, other countries that eventually will clear this from a regulatory perspective,” he said.
“We want to launch chicken breast, and then beef, and then pork, and then seafood. We are very much all in. It’s going to be very capital intensive. It’s going to be very hard [but] it’s also going to be very worth it.”