Chicago-based biotech start-up Clever Carnivore has announced the successful closing of its $7 million seed round funding.
Clever Carnivore is currently manufacturing celll-based pork sausage, with plans to unveil its prototype product, the Clever Bratwurst, in early 2024.
The round was led by Lever VC, a global investor in the alternative protein industry. Clever Carnivore received substantial backing from national and international investors, including Spain's McWin Capital Partners; Thia Ventures headquartered in Belgium and Switzerland; California's Valo Ventures; Newfund Capital from France; and US-based Stray Dog Capital.
The oversubscribed funding round is set to enable Clever Carnivore to accelerate its expansion plans and fuel the company’s mission to redefine the way consumers access and enjoy high-quality meat products.
Virginia Rangos, CEO and co-founder of Clever Carnivore, said: “We are delighted with the enthusiastic support from our investors in this seed round. This funding is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team and reaffirms the confidence that investors have in our cutting-edge science, technology and business model. With this investment, we are well positioned to revolutionise the protein market and enhance the overall consumer experience.”
The company has optimised its growth media to support its unique cell lines, achieving a reduction in cell culture media costs that it claims are "one to two orders of magnitude lower than any other cell-based meat company globally".
Nick Cooney, managing partner of Lever VC, commented: “We’ve been tracking and investing across the global cultivated meat sector since the first such company launched eight years ago, and we haven’t seen anyone come remotely close to Clever Carnivore’s astoundingly low current cost of production, a testament to the company’s phenomenal science".
Clever Carnivore plans to relocate its Lincoln Park operations to a larger nearby facility by year-end. The expansion will allow the company to scale up production into 500-litre bioreactors and add in test kitchens, as Clever Carnivore’s early growth has already surpassed the capacity of its inaugural lab.