IntegriCulture raises $7m to commercialise cell-based meat
Japanese cultured meat firm IntegriCulture has secured JPY 800 million ($7.44 million) in Series A funding to roll out its cellular agriculture to enterprise customers.
The round, which was backed by Beyond Next Ventures, NH Foods and AgFunder, brings its total amount raised to JPY 1.1 billion ($10.2 million).
IntegriCulture plans to use its the capital to fund research and development of its cell culture technology, new facilities and equipment and staffing and operational costs.
Earlier this month, IntegriCulture launched two cellular agriculture infrastructure solutions packages using its CulNet System with plans to roll out its technology to enterprises now.
The company plans to build its cell-based foie gras production site in 2020 for a 2021 launch, followed by the release of processed meat in 2023 and steak in 2025.
With its funding, the company also plans to launch cosmetic products based on cultured serum and further explore the ideas for cell-cultured non-food products such as leather and fur.
“I don’t think anyone else on the planet has given more thought to how to solve the problems of cultivated meat than Yuki [CEO of IntegriCulture],” said Rob Leclerc, founding partner of AgFunder.
Leclerc added: “Bringing down the cost of cell culture media is the central challenge for all cultivated meat companies and IntegriCulture has the most elegant solution we’ve seen to solve this problem.”
Tsuyoshi Ito, CEO of Beyond Next Ventures, said: “The environmental footprint and looming supply shortage of meat is a challenging issue in our food system. IntegriCulture offers a potential solution by developing one of the world’s least expensive and best quality cell-based meat.
“Their CulNet System technology can be applied to a broad range of cellular agriculture products of food and non-food categories. We support the growth of IntegriCulture to build a sustainable future.”
Other investors in the round include Real Tech Fund, Hiroshima Venture Capital and VU Venture Partners.
J Skyler Fernandes, general partner at VU Venture Partners, added: “Integriculture’s technology makes the production of cultured meat affordable at scale, and will rapidly increase the commercialisation for the next generation of meat brands.”