Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli startup manufacturing meat from animal cells in a laboratory, has raised $2.2 million in seed funding, in a round led by Tyson Ventures, the venture arm of the meat giant.
Also investing are the Neto Group, one of the largest food conglomerates in Israel, S2G Ventures, the Chicago-based agrifood tech fund, BitsXBites, China’s first food technology accelerator fund, Agrinnovation, an Israeli investment fund founded by Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of The Hebrew University, and New York-based HB Ventures.
Future Meat is focused on producing cultured meat in a cost-efficient way, according to Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, the company’s founder and chief scientist.
“It is difficult to imagine cultured meat becoming a reality with a current production price of about $10,000 per kilogram,” he said in a statement. “We redesigned the manufacturing process until we brought it down to $800 per kilogram today, with a clear roadmap to $5-10 per kg by 2020.”
The startup also claims to be the first to produce animal fat in a laboratory without harvesting animals and without any genetic modification.
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Future Meat will use the proceeds to establish its engineering activities and increase its biological research, and the company is recruiting engineers, chefs, and scientists.
Future Meat is the first Israeli investment for Tyson, which has invested in another two alternative meat companies with plant-based meat startup Beyond Meat, and another cellular agriculture business Memphis Meats.
Israel is home to another cultured meat startup in Aleph Farms (previously Meat-the-Future), which was co-founded in 2017 by Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen, a part of the Strauss Group, and the Technion.