BERKELEY, Calif. – Memphis Meats said the company plans to use $161 million from a series B funding round to build a pilot production facility, grow its workforce and bring cell-based meats to market. Memphis Meats has raised more than $180 million in total.
Softbank Group, Norwest and Singapore-based Temasek led the funding round. New and existing investors that contributed to the round include Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures, Kimbal Musk, Fifty Years and CPT Capital.
“The reality is that conventional production methods for meat can't keep up with global demand, which is expected to double by 2050,” said Priti Youssef Choksi, partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “Cell-based meat addresses this issue while offering enormous potential to improve the environment and have a positive impact on food safety and animal welfare. Memphis Meats is on a mission to serve up real meat without the compromise. We are thrilled to partner with this visionary team.”
The company has not set a date for product launch, however work with regulatory agencies is ongoing to ensure “a timely and safe market entry,” the company said. The investment by Temasek extends Memphis Meats’ reach in Asia, which the company views as a strategically valuable market for cell-based meat.
“We are excited to welcome these investors into our Big Tent,” said Uma Valeti, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. “Memphis Meats is revolutionizing how meat is brought to every table around the world. We are providing compelling and delicious choices by producing real meat from animal cells, its natural building blocks. Cell-based meat is poised to dramatically expand humanity’s capacity to feed a growing global population while preserving our culinary traditions and protecting our planet.”
Memphis Meats released the first cell-based meatball in 2016 and cell-based poultry in 2017. The company is developing methods to produce animal proteins directly from animal cells.