Memphis Meats Raises $161 Million from SoftBank Group
For years, companies have worked to develop alternatives to meat that reduce both environmental impact and cost to the consumer. Unfortunately, the cost of financing the alternatives often initially outweighs the rewards – but new companies are devising strategies to get around the problem.
Memphis Meats, a company with a mission to make cell-based meat, recently received just over $161 million in financing from a number of prominent investors, most notably Softbank Group, Norwest, and Temasek.
Since the company was founded in 2015, it has acquired approximately $180 million in financing for its bold idea. Other investors include big names like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Kimbal Musk, as well as institutions like Cargill, Tyson Foods, and Threshold Ventures.
Memphis Meats is not the only company searching for an environmentally friendly alternative to the meat industry. Other companies, including Aleph Farms, Future Meat Technologies, Higher Steaks, and Mosa Meat, have also committed to producing meat from cell cultures and plant matter.
These alternative sources could be a game-changer for the food industry, as traditional farming and animal husbandries are massive contributors to global climate change and ecological destruction.
Investors and companies alike are racing to discover new opportunities in bioengineering that could allow the development of commercialized technologies that could replace traditional farming with more environmentally friendly alternatives.
The $161 million in funding received by Memphis Meats is a testament to the potential of this new industry. Although there is not yet a commercially available and publicly affordable cell-based meat out on the market, it’s likely that investors will be increasingly eager and willing to buy-in.
With dozens of companies competing to market the first commercially available product, the field is open for innovation and investment.
“This is still an industry that has sprung up almost overnight and it’s important to keep a sense of perspective here,” said Bruce Friedrich, the executive director of the Good Food Institute. “While the idea of cultivated meat has been percolating for close to a century, the very first prototype was only produced six years ago.”