New Age Eats founder winds up cultured meat maker
Cell-based meat company New Age Eats, formerly New Age Meats, has announced that it is shutting down after failing to secure investment.
Berkeley-based New Age Eats was founded in 2018 by Brian Spears, with the aim of developing technology to produce meat from animal cells.
Spears, who is also CEO, wrote in a LinkedIn post: “In our regulated industry, we can’t and won’t be able to sell for a while. Without revenue, we rely on other sources of capital.
“Investors proved to be the most efficient way to validate whether cultivated meat would be commercially viable. Unfortunately, with recent capital market turmoil, we have been unable to attract investment.”
In September 2021, the company announced that it had secured $25 million in a Series A funding round, as it looked to commercialise its first cultured meat products in 2022.
However, Spears stated that creating the experience of meat using cell-based technology is “extremely difficult” and the development of a low-cost, high-volume process takes time and a lot of “patient capital”.
“As the CEO, I take ultimate responsibility for this shutdown. When we started around five years ago, we had no blueprint to develop and commercialise cultivated meat. I am grateful to everyone who supported our brilliant, talented team as we learnt along the way.”
Cultivated meat is not yet commercially available in the US, although there are a number of players working to bring it to market. Eat Just unit, Good Meat, recently received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its cell-based chicken, following in the footsteps of Upside Foods. Companies must secure approval from both the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture before they can sell their products.
Spears concluded: “As for me, I will take time to sit and learn from the founder journey. It has been the best and worst thing I have ever done…The toll on my mental health to gain these perspectives over the years has been tremendous. I am encouraged that mental health – including of founders – is being more openly discussed.”