Lab-grown food startup Memphis Meats raises $17 million from DFJ, Cargill, Bill Gates, othersRecently:
Meat grown in a laboratory is the future, if certain sustainable food advocates have their way, and one startup just raised a bucketload of cash from major investors to make this goal a reality.
Memphis Meats produces a variety of meat products using animal cells, with no animals bred, fed, or slaughtered in the process. The San Francisco-based startup had previously raised around $5 million in funding through a couple of seed rounds and an equity crowdfunding initiative last year, but the company has now brought out the big guns as it looks to commercialize its goods over the next few years.
Leading the $17 million series A round was venture capital (VC) firm DFJ, backer of Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, Tumblr, Foursquare, Baidu, and Box. But digging down into the details reveals some other big names, including food giant Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and European VC giant Atomico.
“We are committed to growing our traditional protein business and investing in innovative new proteins to ultimately provide a complete basket of goods to our customers,” noted Sonya McCullum Roberts, president of growth ventures at Cargill Protein. “Our investment in Memphis Meats is an exciting way for Cargill to explore the potential in this growing segment of the protein market.”...MORE
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Mr. Gates also partnered with Li Ka-Shing and Khosla on Hampton Creek which is attempting to pivot from Just Mayo into laboratory-grown 'meat'.*
Impossible Foods, the maker of the meatless “burger that bleeds,” just got a fresh infusion of cash from some of the wealthiest people on the planet.*"Mayo-scandal firm Hampton Creek from San Francisco going whole hog for Frankenmeat: report"
Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, and Li Ka-shing, Asia’s third-richest man, are among the investors backing the firm in its quest to get a plant-based burger to market. They were joined by Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment company; Khosla Ventures; and Open Philanthropy Project, a investment fund led by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
Impossible Foods is locked in a race against another startup, Beyond Meat, to get a high-quality, plant-based burger into the mainstream. These aren’t your average veggie burgers—the companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a product aimed to look, taste, and cook exactly like ground beef. And you won’t find them tucked away in supermarket freezer sections. Beyond Meat (which also counts Gates among its backers) is selling its product alongside the real thing in the meat section, while Impossible Foods has been getting its product—made with soy leghemoglobin—into high-profile restaurants.
Beyond Meat tripled its potential customer reach last week, and added to the pressure on Impossible Foods, when it added Kroger—the largest US grocery chain—to the list of retailers carrying its product. It had previously inked deals with Whole Foods and Safeway....MORE
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