Meatable NV, a specialist for cultivated meat, has raised an additional US$10m in seed funding, bringing the company’s total funding to US$13m.
BlueYard Capital, the Eurostars Programme of the European Commission, and angel VCs Taavet Hinrikus and Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures) were among the investors. Meatable is an Amsterdam-based cultivated meat company aiming to deliver at scale cultivated meat that looks like, tastes like, and has the nutritional profile of real meat. The company said it will use the proceeds to push development of the company’s first pork prototype that will be produced with Bit Bio Ltd’s (Cambridge, UK) opti-ox technology. Opti-ox will be used for forward programming on induced pluripotent stem cells (ipSCs) to muscle cells (myocytes).
"Reprogramming has traditionally been inefficient, with low cell yields. To overcome this hurdle, we have developed a gene engineering approach called opti-ox, Bit Bio’s CEO Mark Kotter told European Biotechnology. "Applied to cellular reprogramming, it enables precise reprogramming of entire cultures of stem cells into any desired cell type." Bit Bio has managed to produce muscle cells and neurons with its technology.
“This new funding will enable us to expand our scaling and cost reduction teams and to accelerate development of our first prototype,” said Meatable co-founder and CEO Krijn de Nood, which he expects to be available in summer 2020. “We believe no one should have to give up the meat they love – there is a way to satisfy the world’s appetite for meat without harming people, animals or the planet.”
Cultivated meat joins plant-based proteins as a potential solution to sustainably feeding the world’s growing population. Industrial farming practices strain the Earth’s already limited land and water resources and are responsible for 14% to 18% of human caused greenhouse gas emissions. Cultivated meat has the potential to use up to 96% less water and 99% less land than industrial farming, and with energy efficient processes could slash emissions associated with meat production.
Current protocols to procuce muscle cells can take months, but the opti-ox technology used by Meatable, can produce large batches of the cells needed to make meat in a matter of days to weeks. Only one cell is needed to start the process. The cell is sourced from a real animal in a completely painless way – and because it comes from an animal, the meat that can be made with it is real meat, not a highly processed substitute.
“Meatable was assessed by an international independent evaluation panel and granted a Eureka label; reserved for projects that demonstrate the potential of excellent, high impact and efficient and effective implementation,” said Philippe Vanrie, Head of the EUREKA Association and responsible for the Eurostars-2 programme. “We are delighted that Meatable, a dynamic start-up in the cultivated meat sector, has the potential to develop a unique and innovative technology thanks to support received from the Eurostars Programme. We understand the technology developed will have a significant and positive impact on meat production and, in turn, on climate change.”
Meatable has been founded in 2018, by Krijn de Nood (CEO), Daan Luining (CTO) and Dr. Mark Kotter (Principal Inventor of opti-ox technology, CEO Bit Bio Ltd.)