Israeli biotech and food-tech startup raises $3 million

10 Jan 2018

SuperMeat, the Israeli biotech and food-tech startup, has announced it has raised $3M in seed funding and has formed a strategic partnership with poultry producer PHW.

Israeli biotech and food-tech startup raises $3 million

SuperMeat, the Israeli biotech and food-tech startup, has announced it has raised $3M in seed funding and has formed a strategic partnership with poultry producer PHW, and an equity investor in the company.

The recent seed round was led by US-based venture capital fund New Crop Capital and mission-oriented VC firm Stray Dog Capital. Both firms invest in more sustainable food systems, and have previously backed companies in the alternative protein field such as Beyond Meat and SunFed.

SuperMeat’s clean meat is produced by growing cells that have been painlessly extracted from a chicken. The cells are then grown in conditions that allow them to thrive, forming high-quality chicken cuts. This process puts an end to the industrial need to mass produce animals for slaughter, while eliminating exposure to animal waste and food-borne illnesses; the potential benefits for public health and animal welfare are therefore considerable. At the same time, clean meat is also highly beneficial for the environment, with drastically reduced carbon and ecological footprints compared to current meat production methods. According to research conducted by Oxford and Amsterdam Universities, switching to clean meat will allow a reduction of up to 98% in greenhouse gas emissions, 99% in land exploitation, and up to 96% in water usage.

With the recently secured funding, the Tel-Aviv-based company expects to bring its clean chicken products to market in the very near future, at a price point similar to the conventional chicken products currently available on store shelves. This comes at a critical moment for global food production, with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and the White House having publicly proclaimed the importance of biotechnology in securing alternative protein sources for a rapidly-growing world population, whose demand for meat is projected to double by 2050.

Commenting on the new partnership with SuperMeat, PHW-Gruppe's CEO Peter Wesjohann said: “We at PHW have time and again left the beaten path in conducting our business. This approach not only facilitates the development of best-in-class animal welfare concepts in our core poultry business, but will also lead to the strengthening of our vegan product portfolio, confirming our leading role in the global consumer trend towards a cleaner, more protein-rich diet.”

“The equity investment in SuperMeat is evidence of our forward-thinking strategy. SuperMeat is consistent with our pursuit to provide Europe with sustainable, clean foods– we do not see this transaction as a financial investment but rather as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership.”

“We look forward to working together with SuperMeat and are committed to supporting the company in its research and development, as well as the strategic positioning of its products in the European market. Our R&D, marketing and distribution expertise will contribute to the success of this exciting and promising company -- thereby contributing to the development of cultured meat.”

“We’re proud that SuperMeat is at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving clean meat industry,” said Ido Savir, co-founder and CEO of the company. “Our team is comprised of a diverse group of top-tier scientists, food engineers and chefs, working together 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. We are proud to partner with a top-tier meat producer like PHW; this partnership will enable us to bring to market a revolutionary new generation of tasty, sustainable meat products throughout Europe and beyond.”