A decade on from the world’s first cultivated beef burger, a Dutch startup is luring a dwindling pool of investor funds with stem-cell technology that can rapidly grow slaughter-free sausages.
(Bloomberg) — A decade on from the world’s first cultivated beef burger, a Dutch startup is luring a dwindling pool of investor funds with stem-cell technology that can rapidly grow slaughter-free sausages.
Meatable is betting that its use of patented technology and so-called pluripotent stem cells, which can grow a pork sausage in only eight days, will give it an edge over other cultivated meat startups. The company has just raised $35 million to scale up the process and bring products like pork dumplings to the market.
The key for Meatable is the speed of cultivation, which should allow the company to expand output and cut costs, bringing prices closer to those of traditional meat. As investors get more selective after some initiatives fell short of expectations, Meatable plans to bring its products to restaurants and stores in Singapore next year, while also targeting the US, which recently approved the sale of cell-based chicken.
“We can make a lot of meat compared with other players,” Chief Executive Officer Krijn de Nood said in an interview. “That is what will drive the winner. It’s all about the speed of the process. It’s all about scale and cost reduction.”
The latest investment round, led by Agronomics Ltd., brings Meatable’s total funding to $95 million. Other investors include Invest-NL, DSM Venturing, BlueYard and Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise Ltd.
“Of all the companies that we have in our portfolio, this is in the top three in terms of our conviction that it will be a super investment,” Jim Mellon, co-founder of Agronomics, said in an interview. “We’re investing in know-how and intellectual property in terms of the companies that we’re involved with. Meatable, without a doubt, has got the fastest growth cycle for cells.”
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