With a big help from Switzerland’s largest – real – meat producer, the production of cultured meat just received a major push forward. Through a Series A fundraising, Maastricht based Mosa Meat received 7.5 million euros, which will be used to develop an end-to-end process for cultured meat production at a significantly reduced cost. The endpoint of the funding will allow the company to prepare for the construction of a pilot production plant for the introduction of a premium product in 2021.
An investment in cultured meat is a logical step for a company in the meat business, Lorenz Wyss, CEO of Bell Food Group says. “Meat demand is soaring and in future won’t be met by livestock agriculture alone. We believe this technology can become a true alternative for environment-conscious consumers, and we are delighted to bring our know-how and expertise of the meat business into this strategic partnership with Mosa Meat.”
Mosa Meat, a spin-off company from Maastricht University and Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus has raised €7.5M to bring cultured meat to market in three years time. The Dutch start-up, founded by professor Mark Post, has led the cultured meat industry since presenting the world’s first beef burger made directly from cow cells in 2013. This is the first major investment in a European cultured meat company.
Mark Post is a Dutch pharmacologist who is Professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and (until 2010) Professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. On 5 August 2013, he was the first in the world to present a proof of concept for cultured meat.
The round was co-led by M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of science and technology company Merck, and Bell Food Group, the leading meat processor in Switzerland with operations across Europe. They are joined by mission-based investors, including the Glass Wall Syndicate.
Mosa Meat was co-founded by Prof Mark Post, the world’s leading scientist in the field who created the first cultured hamburger in 2013. Early investors include Google’s Sergey Brin. “We are delighted to join forces with M Ventures and Bell Food Group to create the future of meat,” said Mosa Meat CEO Peter Verstrate. “M Ventures brings strong experience in early-stage financing of science-based companies like ours and has added tremendous value throughout the fundraising process, while Bell Food Group brings strong downstream capabilities in meat processing and distribution. We think this is a perfect collaboration.”
Alexander Hoffmann, Principal at M Ventures, sums up the advantages of cultured meat: “Replacing traditional meat production with cultured meat would have a huge impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it would free up a large number of resources that are now used for meat production worldwide and will completely disrupt an old-established and currently unsustainable industry. We’re incredibly excited to be leading this investment into Mosa Meat, a company at the unique cross-section of food and biotech”.
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