BOULDER, COLO. — Meati Foods (formerly Emergy Foods), a maker of fungi-based meat alternatives, raised $28 million in a Series A funding round led by Acre Venture Partners.
The company aims to create a new category of protein using an edible type of mycelium, the thread-like vegetative part of a fungus. While most meat alternatives use protein isolates to mimic the finely minced texture of ground meat, mycelium’s long, branching fibers allows Meati to approximate the texture of whole muscle.
Funds will go toward expanding production capacity to support commercial collaborations in the retail and foodservice spaces.
“For years we have looked for an alternative meat that is as nutritious as it is sustainable,” said Lucas Mann, managing partner at Acre Ventures Partners. “With Meati, there is no need to compromise. The company has attracted a uniquely experienced syndicate of investors to help Meati get to market in a significant way.”
The Boulder, Colo.-based startup cultivates its own mycelium in large tanks, adding sugar and other nutrients to help it grow. The process takes less time and uses less resources than conventional plant-based meat, and the product exceeds the protein level of traditional meat while offering many of the nutrients found in plants. Three ounces of Meati meat offers 16 grams of protein and more than a fifth of daily fiber needs.
“We started Meati Foods to deliver nutrient-rich, energizing food in an enjoyable and familiar way, while also diversifying our food system with an offering that reduces costs to people and our environment,” said Tyler Huggins, co-founder and chief executive officer.
Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures and Tao Capital joined Acre in backing the brand. John Foraker, CEO of Once Upon A Farm, a brand of cold-pressed snacks for children, also participated in the round, along with Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman, co-founders of Sweetgreen, a sustainability-focused fast-casual restaurant chain.