Consumer demand for meat continues to grow across the world, but this comes at a huge cost to the planet. Cultivated meat is part of the solution – a study by independent research company CE Delft found that cultivated meat can reduce the footprint of conventional beef by up to 92% for greenhouse gas emissions and 95% for land use. This is why investors have poured nearly $900 million into the sector in 2022 alone and the Netherlands announced the world’s largest ever-public investment into cellular agriculture last year.
In this context, Dutch foodtech company Meatable announced it has raised €32 million in a new funding round to bring the company’s total funding so far to €87 million. Led by Agronomics, the successful close saw Invest-NL, a Dutch impact fund, join as a new investor, contributing €15 million. The round also drew renewed support from existing investors, including BlueYard, Bridford, MilkyWay, DSM Venturing and Taavet Hinrikus (chairman and founder of Wise).
The funding will be used to further scale the company’s processes and accelerate commercial launch. The scale up and process optimization reduce the production costs to become cost-competitive with traditional meat and reach production to commercial volumes. Starting in Singapore, the company’s products, including sausages and pork dumplings, will be available in selected restaurants and retailers from 2024. The company is also establishing a presence in the United States. These steps ensure Meatable can bring to life its mission to make cultivated meat available for everyone, without compromising on taste or harming animals, people or the planet.
Krijn de Nood, co-founder and CEO of Meatable, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Invest-NL as a new investor and to have the renewed support from our existing investors. This is a huge sign of confidence in the incredible quality, taste, and proven scalability of our product, especially in the current investment climate. When 14% of the world’s global emissions comes from the traditional meat industry, it’s clear that there needs to be an alternative that reduces the harm our diets are currently causing the planet. We believe cultivated meat is the answer and we are confident we have the tools and the processes in place to make this a reality. We look forward to working closely with our investors as we enter our next growth phase and cement our position as global leaders.”
To make its cultivated pork, Meatable takes one sample of cells from an animal without harming it and replicates the natural growth process of the cells using patented opti-ox™ technology combined with pluripotent stem cells. This technology makes it possible for Meatable to produce real muscle and fat cells in only eight days, 30 times faster than the time it takes to rear a pig for pork on the farm. Owing to this efficiency, Meatable has all processes in place to be able to scale cultivated meat production affordably and provide a genuine solution to this global, pressing problem. Founded in 2018 by Krijn de Nood (CEO), Daan Luining (CTO), and Dr. Mark Kotter (principal inventor of opti-ox™ technology), Meatable has brought together a team of close to 100 experts with unique knowledge in fields including molecular biology, chemistry, tissue engineering, bioprocess development, food safety, and food science to create the new natural meat.
Jim Mellon, co-founder of Agronomics, commented: “Meatable is one of the leading companies helping to transform the cultivated meat industry. With 80 billion animals slaughtered every year for meat and 70 per cent of the Amazon rainforest already destroyed because of animal agriculture, there is a real need to find a solution that can provide meat at the scale needed to address a growing mass market. The latest funding round will allow the company to scale up production in Singapore, and soon in the US, as it moves towards commercialization as part of its Go-to-Market strategy.”
Bastiaan Gielink, Senior Investment Manager at Invest-NL, added: “At Invest-NL we are genuinely excited about the pioneering endeavors undertaken by Meatable. Cultured meat has the potential to deliver unrivalled impact in terms of animal welfare, CO2 equivalent emission reduction, water use, land use and antibiotics abatement. Our pursuit for appropriate protein alternatives that further a sustainable and circular society remains ceaseless. The breakthroughs achieved by Meatable have convinced us that they possess the know-how and team to make this potential a reality.”
To truly make an impact, cultivated meat needs to be widely available. Meatable is launching its first commercial products in Singapore starting from 2024 and is partnering with the relevant authorities to secure regulatory approval. The company has already successfully held its first external tasting events in Singapore earlier in 2023, following approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). In addition, it has started production of its products on the ground together with Esco Aster, the first and only commercially licensed cultivated meat manufacturer in Singapore, and has begun co-development of its product range with plant-based butcher Love Handle.
Next to preparing its launch in Singapore, the company is on its way to expand to the United States and beyond. Recent regulatory developments have boosted confidence in the industry, with the USA approving two cultivated meat companies to start selling their products. As well, The Netherlands recently became the first European country to officially give the green light for companies to organize tastings.