Dutch Startup Secures $10 Million for Lab-Grown Pork and Beef

( Farm Journal Media )

Meatable, a Dutch-based startup has secured an additional $10 million in startup capital to create cultivated pork and beef products, according to a blog written by Krijn de Nood, the company’s CEO, and published on Medium. This brings the company’s total funding to $13 million and will allow it to “make significant strides toward fulfilling our mission,” including expanding its cost-reduction and scaling teams.

It also says the new funding will help it speed up the development of its beef and pork cells, and their process for forming whole cuts of meat, with a projected date summer 2020 to unveil its first prototype.

According to its website, Meatable’s goal is to “satisfy the world’s appetite for meat without harming people, animals or the planet.” To do so they will take a sample from an “unharmed cow or pig” then replicate the process of fat and muscle growth and mix the two elements together to produce meat. Their process can be done in three weeks, versus what the company claims is three years it can take a cow to develop enough meat to be slaughtered.  

de Nood’s blog says that one of the biggest challenges to the cultured meat industry is that it has a scalability problem—creating meat cells in a laboratory is expensive and slow, “hindering process form lab to fork.” He says current processes can take months, but Meatable’s OPTI-OX technology, which is based on “Nobel Prize-winning research and optimized by Stanford and Cambridge scientists,” can create large batches of the cells needed to make the cultured meat in a few days to weeks.

The latest round of funding comes from its existing investor base, but now includes angel investors Taavet Hinrikus, founding CEO of the European unicorn TransferWise, and Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures, the blog says. A portion of the funding also comes from the European Commission through its Eurostars Programme, which supports innovative product development throughout Europe. To de Nood, that funding is evidence that the European Union sees cultivated meat as a “credible aid to fighting climate change.”