Photo: Redefine Meat

Redefine Meat, the Israeli company developing technology to 3D print plant-based meat, today announced that it had raised a $6 million seed round led by CPT Capital with participation by Hanaco Ventures, angel investors and German poultry company The PHW Group.

The startup will use its new capital to finalize its alternative meat 3D printer and ensure that it hits its timeline release goal of 2020, when it plans to begin selling its 3D printer and corresponding ingredient packs to a handful of meat processing partners and restaurants.

I covered Redefine Meat earlier this year when the startup did the first public tasting of its 3D meat to a restaurant full of unsuspecting diners. From that piece:

Redefine Meat’s “meat” is made with relatively simple ingredients: three plant protein sources, fat, and water. The secret is in the printing production method. Instead of extrusion or pressing, Redefine Meat uses 3D printing to give their products a more realistic texture and mouthfeel. “We can not only mimic the fibers of the meat, but also the way that fat and water is trapped in the meat matrix,” explained [CEO] Ben-Shitrit.

When I spoke to them then the company planned to sell its meat to restaurants and eventually develop their own retail brand. However, since then they’ve changed their go-to-market strategy quite a bit. Speaking with Ben-Shitrit earlier today he told me that now they plan to sell their 3D printing machine and shelf-stable plant protein ingredient packs to meat companies, who can then print their own products to distribute to retail and restaurants. Ben-Shitrit said that their machines currently cost about $100,000 each and only work with his company’s suite of protein packs, which will be a recurring cost for partner companies.

For now Redefine Meat is only focused on beef, though they plan to expand their repertoire to include tuna, pork and more. They will install a handful of machines with their manufacturing partners in 2020 and are planning to do a full launch in 2021.

Something must be in the air since last week another company which 3D prints plant-based meat, Novameat, also raised a chunk of funding. This flurry of investment goes to show that 3D printing might just be the key to making meat alternatives — especially larger cuts like steak — that more accurately replicate the appearance and texture of the real thing. Or at least that investors are willing to bet on it.

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