Startup raises nearly $9 million to commercialize lab-grown meat
SAN JUAN – Mosa Meat, a Netherlands company that is developing cell-grown meat, announced it has raised 7.5 million euros ($8.8 million) to take its product to market by 2021.
According to a release Tuesday, Mosa Meat will use the Series A funding raised to develop an “end-to-end process for cultured meat production at significantly reduced cost. The endpoint of the funding will allow the company to prepare for the construction of a pilot production plant for the introduction of a premium product in 2021.”
The startup presented the world’s first beef burger made from cow cells in 2013 and now “claims it could make up to 80,000 quarter pounders from a single sample,” according to the Associated Press, which adds that the company’s “aim is to achieve industrial-scale production 2-3 years later, with a typical hamburger patty costing about $1.”
“This is the first investment in a European cultured meat company, putting Europe on the map for the next generation of meat production,” the said in its release.
Mosa Meat was co-founded by the Maastricht University Prof. Mark Post who created the first lab-grown hamburger in 2013. Early investors include Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
The round of fundraising was co-led by M Ventures, the venture-capital division of pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Switzerland’s Bell Food Group, a leading meat processor in Europe.
“M Ventures, being the corporate venture capital fund of Merck, is the perfect door-opener to Merck’s deep expertise in culturing cells and producing high quality and scalable cell media. This is significant given that the cell media currently comprises 80% of the cost of cultured meat,” Mosa Meat CEO Peter Verstrate says in the release.
“Replacing traditional meat production with cultured meat would have a huge impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it would free up a large amount of resources that are now used for meat production worldwide and will completely disrupt an old-established and currently unsustainable industry,” adds Alexander Hoffmann, Principal at M Ventures.
“Meat demand is soaring and in future won’t be met by livestock agriculture alone,” said Lorenz Wyss, CEO of Bell Food Group. We believe this technology can become a true alternative for environment-conscious consumers, and we are delighted to bring our know-how and expertise of the meat business into this strategic partnership with Mosa Meat.”