Cultivated meat startup New Age Meats (NAM) announced today it has raised a $2 million seed extension round led by TechU Ventures. The round follows the NAM’s $2.7 million seed round from earlier this year and brings the company’s total funding to $5 million.
The Berkeley, CA company is currently developing a cell-based pork sausage and says the new funds will go towards this development. In particular, that includes bringing the price point of its product down.
NAM will also use the funds to further build out its Food Science department, which it says is focused on getting the key attributes — taste, smell, texture, etc. — of its cell-based pork as close to the real thing as possible. On that note, the company held a taste test for its pork back in 2018 and received largely positive reviews.
Another key element to NAM’s methods is its use of automation to optimize bioreactors and essentially grow its meat faster. Part of the new funding will go towards implementing more of this automation, as well as robotics, to speed up both the research and development processes.
Investment in cell-based meat has already reached over $1 billion in 2020 so far, which is almost double what it was for all of 2019. Cell-based meat makes up a small-but-significant portion of that investment, and NAM’s seed extension follows funding news from BlueNalu, Integriculture, and others.
Though the company didn’t provide a timeframe, NAM said today it plans to eventually build out a pilot facility, scale product development and production, and bring its first products to market.