Clean meat start-up SuperMeat raises US$4m with backing from traditional industry players

By Lester Wan

- Last updated on GMT

SuperMeat aims to develop cultured chicken meat from extracted cells, and to mass produce it. ©GettyImages
SuperMeat aims to develop cultured chicken meat from extracted cells, and to mass produce it. ©GettyImages
Israeli Clean meat start-up SuperMeat has announced it has raised close to US$4m from its seed funding round.

This money will fund SuperMeat’s clean meat development, which aims to develop cultured chicken meat and to mass produce it.

In an update, Shir Friedman, co-founder and head of communications of SuperMeat, said the company has been in contact with more investors from Asia and the US.

Further to that, she said “one of the most burning questions” ​from the company’s Indiegogo crowdfunding backers is: “How will the meat industry react to all of this?”

She answered this, stating that one of SuperMeat’s investors is the PHW Group, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers.

“Not only are traditional meat companies not against SuperMeat’s clean meat, they’re actually supporting it and putting their money on it,” ​said Friedman.

The seed round was led by New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital, who have previously invested in other alternative protein players such as Beyond Meat and SunFed.

Plant-based range

Furthermore, a “big-name”​ Israeli meat firm, Soglowek, has recently announced that it would launch a completely plant-based range of food products and guaranteed that it would give 20% of the profits to SuperMeat’s clean meat development.

Soglowek, a prominent producer of meat products such as salami and sausages, already has its Soglowek Nature Series products, which utilises plant food ingredients and egg protein. These products are also cholesterol-free and fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, iron, zinc and fibre.

The new fully plant-based range will take this segment a level higher, including in being completely plant-based and having no animal protein.

Soglowek released a declaration saying: “With the ever-rising global meat consumption, Soglowek is looking into the future. Alongside the launch of our plant-based line, Soglowek chooses to support the SuperMeat project, and the development of an animal-free meat manufacturing technology.

“Soglowek is therefore committed to allocate 20% of profits from the line to back SuperMeat’s scientific research.”

SuperMeat’s logo will appear on the top of the packaging of this new range.

According to the Good Food Institute (GFI), Eli Soglowek, CEO of Soglowek, said: “I was born to a family of butchers, spending time in slaughterhouses since the age of five. Despite that, I love dogs, horses and also cows very much and would like to transition to eating cultured meat that is produced by machines using stem cells taken from real animals without causing harm to the animals and without polluting the planet. 

“I would like to invest time and money to do to the meat industry what Elon Musk is doing to the automobile industry. I believe it’s grand, and that is the vision, allowing me and others to eat what they want.”

According to SuperMeat, its team comprises a diverse group of top-tier scientists, food engineers and chefs who share the same goals and ideals.

“Working together, we collaborate with the best production experts from the pharmaceutical industry to create a new generation of meat products that are sustainable, cost-efficient, animal-friendly and, of course, delicious,” ​said the company.

SuperMeat said that clean meat would have a much smaller eco footprint, requiring 99% less land up to 90% reduction in water usage, as well as result in up to 96% less greenhouse gas emissions.

On the funds raised and Soglowek’s commitment, Friedman said, “This is very exciting, and here at SuperMeat we are looking into the future with great anticipation.”

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