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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Simple Planet raises $6m to speed up production of cell-based meat powder

South Korean cell-based meat start-up Simple Planet has raised $6 million in a pre-Series A funding round to speed up R&D of its cultured meat powder.

The company will use the funding to optimise its technology that produces ingredients like powders and fats for cell-based meat, secure regulatory approval and to support its expansion into international markets.

The round saw investment from POSCO Technology Investment, DCP Private Equity, Hyundai Technology Investment, Prologue Ventures, Pathfinder H and Samho Green Investment, among others.

The latest capital injection will help accelerate the company’s R&D efforts to produce ingredients like powders and fats for cell-based meat, facilitating the optimisation of its manufacturing processes, its path to regulatory approvals and overseas expansion.

Founded in 2021, Simple Planet makes cell-based meat ingredients like proteins and unsaturated fats in powdered or paste forms, instead of creating finished products. The start-up says the ingredients are versatile, helping absorb and improve the flavour and nutritional structure of conventional proteins.

So far, the company has established 13 different floating cell lines including cows, chickens, pigs, ducks and fish, and has developed a probiotic-based serum-free edible culture medium.

Simple Planet's cultured bovine muscle powder
©Simple Planet's cultured bovine muscle powder

Simple Planet says its tech has decreased the price of its serum-free culture by 1/60th, which – alongside controlling nutrient release and density – enables it to bring down the costs of its commercial ingredients too.

“We expect to accelerate the development of serum-free edible culture media, which we are also researching,” said Simple Planet’s CEO Il Doo Jeong. “Moreover, we have been collaborating with global food companies since last year to utilise cultured meat prototypes. We aim to create significant outcomes through new business planning and international expansion by building cooperative relationships with global companies.”

The start-up aims to launch its high-protein cell-based meat powder both within South Korea and internationally, and has previously mentioned its intention to start branches in the US and Canada to speed-up its entry into these markets.

Last September, Simple Planet unveiled its new B2C convenience food brand 'Balboa Kitchen,' with the aim of directly incorporating its cell-based food ingredients into consumer products. Now, it is looking to aggressively expand its distribution network.

In January, the company entered strategic partnerships with accelerator and investment firm Plug and Play and South Korea’s S&S Lab and last year, it collaborated with Pulmuone to co-produce hybrid meat products, with a targeted launch date of 2025.


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