Biggest ever investment in Israeli food-tech goes to cultured meat start-up Future Meat

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AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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Lab-grown meat start-up Future Meat has secured $347M in funding, marking the largest investment gain in the food-tech start-up industry in Israel.

The funding round was led by several firms including Menora Mivtachim Investment Fund, ADM Ventures, Bits x Bites, Manta Ray Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, ADM Capital and Sander Group.

Future Meat is hoping to use the money to open a new cultured meat production plant in the States next year – a lot sooner than the company would have otherwise planned.

The biotech group believes its factory will be the largest cultivated meat plant to exist. Future Meat already opened a plant in Israel earlier this year.

Future Meat’s lab-grown meat products are made using animal stem cells, which do not harm the animal, according to the company. These cells are then grown in a bioreactor until they turn into muscle and fat cells which help to give the product a similar infrastructure to conventional animal-based meats.

The company claims that its meat production is a lot better for the environment and has an identical nutritional value. The company states that its cultured meat produces 80% less greenhouse emissions, uses 90% less land, and uses 96% less freshwater than traditionally produced meats.

Cultured meats, while a rapidly growing area, are still mainly confined to laboratories rather than the open market due to their high price. This brand, however, notes that it has been able to reduce the price of 1 pound of its cultured chicken breast from $18 to $7.70. Future Meat hopes to make the price of cultivated meat even more affordable in the future as the scale of its production grows further.

Investments in cell-based meat production have been plentiful throughout 2021.

In October, China’s first cultiated meat company Joe’s Future Food secured $10.9M to develop the first cell-based pork. Earlier in the year, the Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio also announced his investment in cell-based meat company Mosa Meat. He also took up a position as an advisor for the company.

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