Mosa Meat finishes its funding round with $96M3 Mar 2021
Dutch foodtech company Mosa Meat raised $10 million in its final Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $96 million. The company, which produces slaughter-free meat, said it would use this latest cash infusion to increase its production through expanding its facility and production line size as well as increasing the number of staff working toward bringing its cultivated beef to commercialization.
For this most recent funding round, Mosa Meat managed to attract some of the same investors, include Nutreco. Other participants include the CEO of Just Eat Takeaway.com.
In a statement, the Netherlands-based company said, “The closing of Series B funding brings us one step closer to our mission to develop a cleaner, kinder way of making real beef.”
Cruelty-free protein is an in-demand category that is steadily growing in popularity, and cell-based meat is one solution that is working to gain traction with consumers and governments. For years, protein that was cultivated using animal cells has faced three major hurdles: price, consumer acceptance and governmental approval.
Price is one variable that has drastically dropped in recent years. When Mosa Meat created the first ever cell-based hamburger in 2013, it cost about €250,000 due to the fetal bovine serum that was required for cell-based meat. In the last eight years, however, prices have dropped dramatically. In September of 2020, the startup estimated that its burgers cost €9 each, according to data report by Sifted. A large proportion of this cost reduction comes from the startup switching to animal-free sources for fetal bovine serum.
While Mosa Meat has led the way in cell-based meat in many ways, it is not the exclusive competitor in the field. In Israel, there is SuperMeat, Aleph Farms and FutureMeat Technologies. FutureMeat announced recently that it has a cell-based chicken breast that it sells for $7.50 in the U.S. Aleph Farms focuses on beef and made the first ribeye steak using slaughter-free technology.
These advances in technology have naturally been preceded by funding. In the first quarter of 2020, investors put $189 million toward cell-based meat products, according to the Good Food Institute. That figure is over twice the $77 million that these alternative protein companies were given in 2019. But despite consumer enthusiasm, consumers remain hesitant about cell-based alternatives.
A 2019 poll from the marketing firm Charleston|Orwig found that 40% of consumers find lab-grown food to be “scary.” However, Mosa Meat sees that small number of consumers that are confident in cell-based meat to be a promising sign. “Even 20% of the public is an enormous market of first adopters,” the company says on its website. “We are confident that when the product is of high quality and is competitively priced the benefits will appeal widely to consumers.”
Still, regulatory approval remains a hurdle for cell-based meat companies. Mosa Meat is aiming to earn approval in Europe, where the company is based, but it is still going through preliminary processes with the European Food Safety Authority. More broadly, markets like the U.S. are still exploring how to regulate cell-based meat and what the requirements will be to sell the products commercially. On the other hand, there are glimmers of hope. In December, Singapore became the first country to grant regulatory approval to San Francisco-based Eat Just's cultured chicken.
While there is still a long way to go before cultured meat is a mainstream phenomenon, there are clear signs indicating that the adoption of this slaughter-free protein source may become the norm in the future.