BERKELEY, CALIF. — Memphis Meats closed a $161 million Series B funding round, the largest to date for the cell-based meat industry.
Existing investors including Tyson Foods and Cargill participated in the round, which was led by SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek.
Memphis Meats will use the funds to build a pilot production facility and bring its first products to market. The company has yet to announce a date for product launch, but said it is working with regulatory agencies to ensure a “timely and safe” market entry.
The round brings Memphis Meats’ total funding to more than $180 million. It also extends the company’s coalition to Asia, where the market is struggling to keep pace with growing demand for meat.
The region has attracted the attention of cell-based meat companies looking to gain regulatory approval and bring products to market recently. Eat Just, Inc., a company known for its plant-based egg alternative, said last year it plans to launch its first cell-based chicken nuggets in Asia, though no timeline or specific country has been announced.
While no jurisdiction has approved cell-based meat for consumption, regulators in Asia have shown interest in the prospect of growing large amounts of protein using little land.
“Memphis Meats is revolutionizing how meat is brought to every table around the world,” said Uma Valeti, co-founder and chief executive officer at Memphis Meats. “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.”