Colorado-based Meati produces whole cuts of meat alternative analogs from mycelium, and today the start-up announced that it has raised $50 million in its series B round (news from Forbes). The round was led by Acre Venture Partners and BOND, with participation from Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Tao Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $109.1 million.
Meati uses fermentation to produce its alternative protein products, a technique that the Good Food Institute calls the third pillar of alternative protein. The company has so far introduced two products, a whole cut alternative steak and chicken breast. The mycelium steak was piloted at a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado last year, and the chicken alternative was only offered to select consumers that applied to taste test it. Through the versatility of mycelium, it is likely that Meati will be able to create a wide variety of alternative protein analogs.
This most recent round of capital will be used to develop an 80,000 square foot production plant in preparation for the startup’s commercial launch. According to the Forbes article, Meati’s goal is to be able to produce enough of its alternative protein in its new facility that would be the equivalent of 4,500 cows in a single day.
The Good Food Institute reported that approximately $1 billion has been invested into companies using fermentation to develop alternative protein. That being said, Meati faces a few competitors in this space. AtLast had an impressive funding round earlier this year ($40M), and is currently developing new alternative protein analogs alongside its existing bacon product. Prime Roots uses fermentation and fungi to craft various protein alternatives, including bacon, chicken, lobster, and beef. Focusing on the B2B realm, Mushlabs also ferments mycelium to create alternative proteins products.
Meati has stated that the commercial launch of its first product will be sometime in 2022. According to an article published on Techcrunch, the first commercial product will likely be a mycelium-based jerky.