Agriculture & foodtech Startups Venture

Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish: Where The Money Is Going In Alt Meat

Illustration of cultured-food app icons. Egg, sushi(?) and meat.

While venture funding has slowed this year, one area that remains hot is alternative proteins, and in particular cell-grown meats.

Funding in the cultivated meat space has reached close to $700 million so far in 2022, per Crunchbase data. Meanwhile, copious investment also continues to flow to plant-based protein startups. Collectively, founders working on everything from faux foie gras to shelf-stable mock goat meat are pulling in millions.

Search less. Close more.

Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.

But not all meats are equally sought-after. To get a sense of how beef, chicken, pork, seafood and other categories 1 rank, we pulled together a dataset of top-funded companies in the alternative meat space.


Not all funded companies have products to sample. In the cultivated meat space in particular, goods aren’t likely to reach store shelves for a few years.

Still, most faux meat companies are actively promoting their brands. For a sense of who’s making what, we’ve put together lists below of funded companies in each meat category:

Chicken and poultry



Pork (including bacon!)

Lamb, goat and mammoth

While chicken, beef, pork and fish are the top focus areas for alternative meat innovators, other proteins are getting a look too.

San Francisco-based Black Sheep Foods makes a plant-based lamb with textured pea protein as a key ingredient. The company raised $5.3 million in a January round.

Good Dot, an India-based startup, makes a product called “UnMutton,” which is intended to offer a shelf-stable, protein-rich, plant-based alternative to goat meat that can be used in the kinds of slow-cooked dishes popular in Indian cuisine. 

Last but not least is Paleo, a Belgian food ingredient company that makes heme proteins it says are bio-identical to animal sources, but are made without animals. In addition to staple flavors like beef, chicken and pork, the company also offers a mammoth heme made through precision fermentation and based on the DNA sequence of a 1 million-year-old steppe mammoth.

In addition to the curiosity factor, plant-based mammoth meat strikes me as having an advantage over competing protein alternatives: No one living today could authoritatively say how much it does or does not taste like the real thing.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

  1. The categories include companies that are focused on or best known for one kind of meat, but may be working on other meats, potentially for future release.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Copy link