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

General Mills launches snack limiting blood sugar spikes

General Mills launches snack limiting blood sugar spikes

21 Jul 2021

Coming out of General Mills’ Innovation Lab is a new snack brand called Good Measure that is designed specifically to not spike the blood sugar of the person snacking. While this product can serve a wide variety of consumers, including those following ...

Read more 
Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

20 Jul 2021

Globally, 70.5% of consumers said they would be willing to buy cheese made with dairy proteins that don’t come from animals, according to a new survey from the precision fermentation company Formo and the University of Bath published in the journal Fro...

Read more 
Cambridge University invents vegan spider silk to replace single-use plastics

Cambridge University invents vegan spider silk to replace single-use plastics

19 Jul 2021

Xampla, a spinoff from Cambridge University, is working on commercializing a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastics that is made out of plant products but where the molecular structure is manipulated to resemble spider silk.

Read more 
Future of Nutrition Award debuts at the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

Future of Nutrition Award debuts at the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

16 Jul 2021

The Fi Europe Innovation Awards, held at Fi Europe 2021 co-located with Hi Europe, celebrate people, companies and organisations breaking new ground in the Food & Beverage industry.

Read more 
Halo Top co-founder launches low-calorie, low-sugar chocolate bar

Halo Top co-founder launches low-calorie, low-sugar chocolate bar

15 Jul 2021

Gatsby Chocolate is one of the newest entrants into the better-for-you indulgence space as of this summer. From the founder of Halo Top ice cream, Doug Bouton, this new chocolate bar uses Epogee's EPG fat alternative ingredient, which is a formulation ...

Read more 
Aleph Farms raises $105M, plans for cell-based meat launch in 2022

Aleph Farms raises $105M, plans for cell-based meat launch in 2022

13 Jul 2021

Cultured meat manufacturer Aleph Farms is steaming ahead toward its goal of commercialization. The Israeli startup announced it received $105 million in funding from a Series B investment round led by L Catterton's Growth Fund and DisruptAD, which is o...

Read more 
Provenance Bio's plant-based gelatin beats animal based options on price

Provenance Bio's plant-based gelatin beats animal based options on price

12 Jul 2021

To answer the growing demand for animal-free collagen, San Francisco-based startup Provenance Bio, unveiled its first animal-free gelatin product made with its proprietary protein expression platform. The company said that the proteins it produces for ...

Read more 
Carbios technology creates first enzymatically recycled bottles

Carbios technology creates first enzymatically recycled bottles

6 Jul 2021

French biochemistry firm Carbios announced that, in partnership with a consortium of CPG manufacturers, it has produced the world’s first food-grade PET plastic bottles made entirely from enzymatically recycled plastic .

Read more 
Imagindairy ferments casein and whey, expects launch in two years

Imagindairy ferments casein and whey, expects launch in two years

1 Jul 2021

Israeli startup Imagindairy is aiming to take cows out of the dairy equation entirely with its animal-free casein and whey proteins that it has developed over the course of 15 years of research. The company says that its proprietary fermentation techno...

Read more 
Geltor introduces a cultured vegan collagen

Geltor introduces a cultured vegan collagen

28 Jun 2021

California-based cultured protein startup Geltor announced that it will release what it describes as the world’s first vegan collagen product, PrimaColl. This animal-free collagen will be available in mid-2021.

Read more