Plant-based meat startups Redefine Meat, Next Gen Foods raise funds to fuel growth as alternative-protein sector heats up

Plant-based meat startups Redefine Meat, Next Gen Foods raise funds to fuel growth as alternative-protein sector heats up

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Pinduoduo Content Team
February 26, 2021

Israeli plant-based meat startup Redefine Meat said that it has raised $29 million in a Series A round of funding to expand its product portfolio and support the mass production of its 3D alternative meat printers by the end of this year.

The round was led by Happiness Capital and Hanaco Ventures with participation from CPT Capital, Losa Group, Sake Bosch, and K3 Ventures. Investment will be used for large-scale pilot production and product launch in Europe, followed by Asia and North America, the company said in a release.

3D printed plant-based meat from Redefine Meat. Source: Company handout

Redefine Meat is among the wave of companies worldwide developing plant-based substitutes for meat, poultry and seafood amid rising concerns that traditional agriculture methods are exacting an increasing toll on the environment with their impact on water use, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

"We want to change the belief that delicious meat can only come from animals,” said Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and Co-founder of Redefine Meat. “We have all the building blocks in place to make this a reality: high-quality meat products, strategic partnerships with stakeholders across the world, a large-scale pilot line under construction, and the first-ever industrial 3D Alt-Meat printers set to be deployed within meat distributors later this year."

Read: China moves to set standards for plant-based meat industry

The plant-based meat sector, which counts Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods among its most visible and active proponents, has attracted widespread interest from venture capital and high-profile investors from Bill Gates to Leonardo DiCaprio.

This week, plant-based chicken maker Next Gen Foods landed $10 million in seed funding from investors including Singapore’s Temasek International, Economic Development Board of Singapore’s New Ventures unit and NX-Food. The Singapore-based startup, founded by Timo Recker, employs non-GMO ingredients in a soy-based mix that it says gives a chicken-like taste to its product, to be sold under the brand name Tindle.

Others plant-based companies like Redefine Meat choose 3D printing technologies for production, which enables the production of exact geometries that can duplicate the muscle and fat structures found in cuts of meat. The technology also offers the flexibility to print different shapes, sizes, or combinations of "fat" and "muscle" without retooling or resetting the machines.

3D printing technology is also being employed to produce cultivated meat, or meat produced from stem cells.

Read: Mushroom waste is being turned into burgers and fertilizer

Earlier this month, Aleph Farms, another Israeli startup, announced that it had debuted the world's first cultivated, slaughter-free rib-eye steak using 3D bioprinting and cellular agriculture technologies. Vienna-based Revo Foods said it is using its 3D printing technology to create salmon sashimi. A startup called CellX is aiming to become the first to commercialize 3D-printed, cell-based meat in China.

Unlike Aleph Farms, the nutrient liquid used by Redefine Meat is entirely plant-based and not cellular.

Founded in 2018, Redefine Meat uses 3D-printing technology along with ingredients it calls “Alt-Fat,” “Alt-Muscle,” and “Alt-Blood” to create whole cuts of plant-based meat. Redefine Meat's 3D printer has three nozzles, which can put out blood, muscle and fat together to create a whole-cut steak that mimics the texture, juiciness and mouthfeel of animal meat.

Last month, Redefine Meat announced its first strategic agreement with Israeli meat distributor, Best Meister, for distribution to restaurants and high-end butchers.

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