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'SuperMeat' Receives $3 Million In Funding For New Lab-Based Meat

SuperMeat has received $3 million in seed funding and has partnered with one of Europe’s biggest poultry producers. The “clean meat” startup from Israel continues a growing portfolio of lab-based foods that don’t involve killing animals, including Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats. Thanks to the latest funding and support, the company hopes to bring their products to the market in a few years.

The Israeli startup had a goal to create healthy, sustainable meat products without needing to slaughter animals and to eliminate the carbon emissions created from it. A process they developed is using animal cell culture techniques. For example, cells from a chicken would be extracted from the animal and given the same nutrients when raising them. 

With this process, muscle and fat would grow in the labs instead of inside an animal’s body. Not only does it remove the need to kill an animal, but it would limit the emissions from industrial farming. According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, methane gas from livestock accounts for 16 percent of global greenhouse emissions.

After holding a successful crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo in the summer of 2016, SuperMeat has now received up to $3 million in early investments. Led by New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital, these firms have backed other startups like Beyond Meat and are looking to expand the lab-based food industry. The money certainly puts a boost into the near $250,000 the company crowdfunded.

“We’re proud that SuperMeat is at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving clean meat industry,” Ido Savir, co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. “Our team is comprised of a diverse group...working together...to create a new generation of meat products that are sustainable, cost-efficient, animal-friendly, and of course - delicious.”

PHW is the poultry producer that will be an equity investor in the company and hopes to have a long-term partnership. It’ll improve their animal welfare and vegan product options while also providing sustainable, cultured meat to consumers. That’s important to consider with meat demand continuing to rapidly rise in the coming years.

According to studies from Oxford and Amsterdam Universities, beef has the largest impact in use and emissions. By comparison, cultured meat would have up to 96 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and up to 99 percent less land use. Despite using a bit more energy than poultry, the rest of the benefits far outweigh the others.

While prices should be very competitive when it’s released, it won’t be in stores for at least three years. SuperMeat is among three other Israeli companies that are developing the product in China with a $300 million exporting deal. It provides an ideal testing place for the lab-based meat as the country is desperately trying to improve its carbon emissions.

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