Swiss cultivated meat start-up raises $2.2m; aims for 2022 product launch

26 Mar 2021

This month, Swiss cell-cultured meat start-up Mirai Foods announced it raised US$2.2 million in a second seed round, bringing the total seed financing raised in 2021 to $4.5m.

Backers included German Family Office FRIBA Investment, Swiss advanced nutrition and biotech venture capital firm Skyviews Life Science, and the food company, Paulig, which invested through its venture arm, PINC.

Swiss cultivated meat start-up raises $2.2m; aims for 2022 product launch

The Zürich, Switzerland-headquartered start-up said it would use the money to accelerate its product development by recruiting new team members, improving in-house lab capabilities, and building a pilot production plant.

“With the additional investment, we are in an excellent position to strengthen the team and speed up our research,” said Christoph Mayr, co-founder and CEO of MIRAI. “This investment is critical for our mission to provide delicious, high quality cultivated meat at a fair price. Our partners not only share our mission but also have great strategic and operational capabilities.”

Specifically catering to European tastes

Mirai will initially focus on producing minced beef – aiming to launch its first product at the end of 2022 – before expanding into other “textures and species”. The start-up plans to cover the entire value chain itself, from R&D and production, to marketing and distribution, and is looking to specifically target European consumers.

“Europeans have a very high standard in terms of food quality, taste, and healthiness of their food,” Mayr told The Ingredients Network. “Also, Europeans don't like to eat anything that is genetically modified. [Our] meat is non-GMO and is optimized for taste and texture. It also has a healthier nutritional profile than traditional meat. This is a core focus of our whole company and reflected in everything we do.”

The start-up describes its products as ‘real meat without the downsides of industrial meat production’. Its production process is antibiotic-free and it can cultivate meat cells that have less saturated fat than conventionally-produced meat.

“We are […] are laser-focused on producing meat with a healthier nutritional profile than traditional meat, and we also have achieved significant milestones in record time, such as a tasting event with real cultivated meat only six months after our lab was up and running,” Mayr said. “This combination of product positioning and execution makes us unique in the marketplace.”

Cultivated meat already on the menu

To date, Singapore is the only region in the world where regulators have approved a cell-cultured meat product from a food safety perspective.

In December last year, food regulators in the Southeast Asian city-state gave the green light to US company Eat Just to sell its product, GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken. Eat Just announced the product would be first served in the 1880 restaurant as a part of a trio of sample dishes for around $23.

Reacting to the SFA’s approval, Asia Pacific managing director of the Good Food Institute (GFI), Elaine Siu, said: “The race to divorce meat production from industrial animal agriculture is underway and nations that follow Singapore’s lead will be able to reap the benefits as the entire world shifts to this new and better way of making meat.”

Stefan Catsicas, managing partner at Skyviews Life Science, which invested in Mirai, said that, going forward, cultivated meat would be a key contributor of a sustainable global food system.
“At the interface between food science and tissue engineering, Mirai is one of the leading next generation companies and we are delighted to be part of their journey,” he added.

Related categories

Related tags

Innovation Market News

Related news

DSM acquires Amyris’ bio-based flavors and fragrances business

DSM acquires Amyris’ bio-based flavors and fragrances business

9 Apr 2021

Netherlands-based Royal DSM acquired the flavor and fragrance bio-based intermediates business of California-based Amyris in order to extend the Dutch corporation’s presence in bio-based flavor and fragrance ingredients. The transaction was completed o...

Read more 
‘Bread as good as veg’: Modern Baker makes bread better with science-based Superloaf

‘Bread as good as veg’: Modern Baker makes bread better with science-based Superloaf

8 Apr 2021

Packing in 12 high-fibre, plant-based ingredients and no additives, Modern Baker’s Superloaf claims to be as healthy as eating vegetables, and has won the praise of ‘gut guru’, Dr Tim Spector.

Read more 
Vegan ingredients maker gets $11M in seed funding

Vegan ingredients maker gets $11M in seed funding

7 Apr 2021

Vegan ingredient maker Nourish Ingredients received $11 million in a seed funding round led by Hong Kong billionaire Chris Liu’s Horizons Ventures and the Australian government’s Main Sequence Ventures. Horizon Ventures is known for providing early-sta...

Read more 
Eight million Euro project aims to bring robotic farming to Europe

Eight million Euro project aims to bring robotic farming to Europe

2 Apr 2021

In the face of continued labor shortages on farms throughout the EU, robots have ratcheted their way up in terms of importance for farmers, but these automatic, mechanical solutions have not yet become a mainstream solution to replace this shortage. To...

Read more 
Givaudan launches new digital sensory insights tool

Givaudan launches new digital sensory insights tool

25 Mar 2021

Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing has introduced a new digital tool which uses AI and aroma technology to enhance its understanding of consumer preferences.

Read more 
Pig-free pepsin comes to market from Clara Foods

Pig-free pepsin comes to market from Clara Foods

22 Mar 2021

Following six years of research, biotech ingredients maker Clara Foods rolled out the first commercially-available, animal-free pepsin enzyme that is is free of antibiotics and hormones as well as being vegan, Kosher and Halal, according to a press rel...

Read more 
Aleph Farms is bringing cultivated steak to Brazil

Aleph Farms is bringing cultivated steak to Brazil

19 Mar 2021

This month, cell-based meat producer Aleph Farms partnered with Brazilian-based BRF S.A. in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement that will bring cultivated meat to the Brazilian market. Under the agreement, the two companies will co-develop a ...

Read more 
Follow Your Heart dips into pancake batter

Follow Your Heart dips into pancake batter

17 Mar 2021

Trailblazing vegan brand Follow Your Heart has entered a new category with the launch of its Rocket Cakes bottled pancake batter mix. The mix is a refrigerated batter made from corn, white rice and millet flours and is gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO...

Read more 
Coffee start-up to scale up ‘digitization’ of coffee aroma with $3m funding

Coffee start-up to scale up ‘digitization’ of coffee aroma with $3m funding

11 Mar 2021

Colombian-Israeli start-up Demetria is ready to scale up its Artificial Intelligence-driven tools that digitize the taste and aroma of coffee after closing a $3 million seed funding round.

Read more 
‘Impressive growth’: Spain’s entrepreneurs show growing appetite for food tech

‘Impressive growth’: Spain’s entrepreneurs show growing appetite for food tech

8 Mar 2021

In recent years, some places, such as Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv, have become synonymous with food tech and innovation. Spain does not tend to spring to mind.

Read more